Lactic acid bacteria LP-2 was isolated from Yamahai Shubo (sake starter prepared by traditional methods) collected from the Kizakura sake brewery. By 16S r-RNA analysis, LP-2 was identified as Lactobacillus plantarum. This strain could not be matured to a 12% ethanol concentration and produced D-lactic acid and L-lactic acid at the same quantity. By a laboratory scale Yamahai Shubo experiment, LP-2 showed acid increase and nitrite decrease patterns different from Lactobacillus sakei which were known to be predominantly grown at Yamahai Shubo. Also, by using LP-2 on an industrial scale, Yamahai Shubo were steadily produced over one brewing year. Moreover, by using LP-2, sake with unique characteristics could be produced.
This study investigated the effect of ginger koji powder on sensitivity to cold temperatures among young women. Ginger koji is an enzyme-rich food which is produced by solid-state fermentation with Aspergillus oryzae in ginger chips. Ginger koji powder (500mg/2cp), ginger powder (500mg/2cp), or a placebo (cellulose, 500mg/2cp) was adminite to 5 women (20.6±0.4 years old) with cold fingertips using a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover protocol. The combined effect with a milk protein drink was investigated. Twenty minutes after a single administration, the hand of each subject was exposed to cooling at 20°C for 1min, and then the skin surface temperature on the hand along with the width of blood vessels in their fingers were measured. In the case of a single administration of ginger koji, the recovery rates of hand temperature were significantly higher than those in the placebo group. In addition, after a single administration of a combination of a milk protein drink and ginger koji, hand temperature recovery time was shorter than in the placebo group. It can therefore be suggested that the administration of both a milk protein drink and ginger koji leads to an increase in diet-induced thermogenesis, and subsequently the recovery of skin surface temperature. Our findings suggested that ginger koji can be helpful for women sensitive to cold temperatures.