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Matsoni (მაწონი)[1] (Armenian: մածուն matsun) also known as Caspian Sea yoghurt in Japan[2](Japanese: カスピ海ヨーグルト) is a fermented milk product of Georgian origin,[3][4][5] found in Caucasian cuisine, particularly in Armenia[6] and Georgia.[7][8][9][10][11] It is very similar to yogurt. It is made with Lactobacillus acidophilus (original only), Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus lactic acid bacteria.[11]

Matzoon is made from cow's milk (mostly), goat's milk, sheep's milk, buffalo milk, or a mix of them and a culture from previous productions.


The name of the product originates from Armenian matz (sour, glue).[12][13][14] The product is widely mentioned by medieval Armenian writers, e.g. Grigor Magistros (11th century), Hovhannes Erznkatsi (13th century), Grigor Tatevatsi (14th century) and others.[14] Grigor Magistros, in his Definition of Grammar, gave the correct etymology of the word.[15][14][16] Georgians were familiar with the positive effects of Matsoni on various gastrointestinal diseases, liver diseases, skin diseases at least five centuries ago and described in the ancient Georgian medicinal book Karabadini. Matsoni was used in the form of complex compresses (moist packs) etc.[17]

Difference between Armenian "Matzoon" and Georgian "Matsoni"[edit]

While matsoni was originally called matzoon[citation needed], production switched from Lactobacillus acidophilus to Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (used in yogurt) and Streptococcus thermophilus (used in kefir) due to a much simpler fermentation process.[citation needed] Alternately, only original matzoon with Lactobacillus acidophilus provides full recovery of internal bacteria and can be used repeatedly for successive batches.[citation needed] In Armenia, original matzoon is called sour matzoon, while Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is called sweet matzoon.[citation needed] Matzoon is also used as the main ingredient of the ancient Armenian drink Tahn, which became popular in Asia under different names.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Also spelled matsoon, matsoun, matzoun, madzoon, madzoun, macun, matson
  2. ^ Caspian Sea Yoghurt by Natalie Carrad // [1] // "Caspian Sea Yoghurt is believed to have been introduced into Japan in 1986 by researchers returning from a trip to the Caucasus region in Georgia"
  3. ^ Lawrence Eldred Kirk // Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1948, p. 12 (41) "Matzoon or mazun, originating in Armenia. A lactobacillus (L. mazun), a streptococcus, a spore-producing bacillus and a sugar- fermenting yeast are responsible for the fermentation of this product."
  4. ^ Joseph A. Kurmann, Jeremija Lj Rašić, Manfred Kroger: Encyclopedia of fermented fresh milk products: an international inventory of fermented milk, cream, buttermilk, whey, and related products, p. 212. Springer, 1992. ISBN 978-0-442-00869-7. [2] "MATZOON (En); mazun (Fr, De); matsun, matsoni, maconi.
    Short Description: Of Armenian origin; Georgia, Caucasus (USSR); traditional product; the milk of ewes, goats, buffalo, or cows or mixtures thereof; yoghurtlike product traditionally made from boiled milk and an undefined starter culture; firm consistency and acidic flavor.
    Microbiology: Traditional product made with undefined starter culture consisting of thermophilic and mesophilic lactic streptococci and thermophilic lactobacilli, and often with yeasts. Starter culture with defined microflora: proposed Streptococcus thcrmopbilus and Lactobacillus dclbmeckii subsp. buligaricus.
    Related Product: Yoghurt."
  5. ^ Columbia Encyclopedia // fermented milk // The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press.
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 18 p. 446 Americana Corp, 1977 г. - ISBN 0-7172-0108-2, ISBN 978-0-7172-0108-2 "MATZOON, mat-soon', a milk food used in Armenia; prepared by exposing milk in open vessels to a heat of 90°F., and when coagulation takes place the curd is broken up by a churning process and salt is added."
  7. ^ Darra Goldstein. The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia. University of California Press, 1999, p. 34
  8. ^ Branden Byers // The Everyday Fermentation Handbook: A Real-Life Guide to Fermenting Food, 2014, p.66 "Matsoni, also known as Caspian Sea yogurt, this mesophilic yogurt comes from the region now known as Georgia."
  9. ^ Toyo Keizai Shinposha // Japan Company Handbook: First section firms, Issue 3, 2003, p.283
  10. ^ Biophage Pharma Inc., Canada and Quanta Medical, France, Rueil-Malmaison // Probiotics of Georgia and “Caucasian Longevity” Phenomenon. "One of the most ancient fermented milk products being used in Georgia is matsoni."
  11. ^ a b Kenji Uchidai, Tadasu Urashima, Nino Chaniashvili, Ikiti Arai, Hidemasa Motoshima. Major microbiota of lactic acid bacteria from Matsoni, a traditional Georgian fermented milk. Animal Science Journal, 78 (2007) 85. doi:10.1111/j.1740-0929.2006.00409.x
  12. ^ merriam-webster dictionary /matzoon
  13. ^ Collins English Dictionary / matzoon
  14. ^ a b c H. Adjarian, Armenian Etymological Dictionary, Yerevan, 1971, vol. 3, pp. 228-229
  15. ^ Nicholas Adontz, «Дионисий Фракийский и армянские толкователи.», Saint Petersburg, 1915, p. 228. "Մածուն քանզի մածեալ է, սոյնպէս և անուանի." Approximate translation: "Matzoon, since it's gluey, hence it is called so."
  16. ^ ed: A. Desnitskaya, S. Katsnelson, «История лингвистических учений. Средневековый Восток.». "Nauka", Saint Petersburg, 1981, p. 17
  17. ^ Biophage Pharma Inc., Canada and Quanta Medical, France, Rueil-Malmaison // Probiotics of Georgia and “Caucasian Longevity”

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Matsoni at Wikimedia Commons