Cordyceps militaris is a traditional Chinese medicine from a genus of ascomycete fungai. We manufactured Cordyceps militaris spirits, named Kinkirishima, SCS, by soaking Cordyceps militaris in sweetpotato shochu. This study aims to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of SCS extract in both cell and animal models. Based on bioactivity-guided separation, we found that Fraction 1C-III (F1C-III) exerted a significant inhibition on COX-2 expression induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in RAW264.7 cells. In the animal model of mouse paw edema, F1C-III significantly reduced the level of IL-6 and TNF-α in serum and further attenuated the paw edema induced by LPS.
We investigated differences among the fermentation characteristics and quality of shochu produced from nuruk (Korean traditional koji) or rice koji and attempted to apply nuruk to shochu production. Although 10 commercially available nuruks showed lower fermentation activity than rice koji, we found 2 nuruks that showed a higher ability compared to others. α-amylase and glucoamylase activities of the nuruks were almost same as those of rice koji, and the nuruks had higher activity in raw starch digestion than did rice koji. The starch gelatinization degrees of nuruks were lower than that of rice koji. The sensory test revealed that rice shochu made from nuruks had a floral but sour odor and taste compared to that made with rice koji. The sour odor and taste were controlled by the addition of shochu yeast. Furthermore, we isolated several yeasts in nuruk, identifying one of them as Saccharomyces cerevisiae by the sequencing of the 26S rRNA D1/D2 region. Thus, nuruk was successfully applied in shochu production, and the application of nuruk indicated beneficial results for producing new characteristic aromas and tastes to shochu.