are the female flower
cones, also known as strobiles, of the hop
plant (Humulus lupulus
). They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer
, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine
. The first documented use in beer is from the eleventh century. Hops are used extensively in brewing today for their many purported benefits, including balancing the sweetness of the malt
, contributing a variety of desirable flavors and aromas, and having an antibiotic
effect that favors the activity of brewer's yeast
over less desirable microorganisms. The hop plant is a vigorous climbing herbaceous perennial
, usually grown up strings in a field called a hopfield
, hop garden
or hop yard
when grown commercially. Many different varieties of hops are grown by farmers all around the world, with different types being used for particular styles of beer.
A juniper berry
is the female seed cone
produced by the various species of junipers
. It is not a true berry
but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis
, are used as a spice
, particularly in European cuisine
, and also give gin
its distinguishing flavour. According to one FAO
document, juniper berries are the only spice derived from conifers
, though tar
and inner bark (used as a sweetener by Apache
cuisines) from pine trees is sometimes considered a spice as well.
Gin was developed in the 17th century in the Netherlands. It was first intended as a medication; juniper berries are a diuretic and were also thought to be an appetite stimulant and a remedy for rheumatism and arthritis. The name gin itself is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean "juniper". Other juniper-flavored beverages include the Finnish rye-and-juniper beer known as sahti, which is flavored with both juniper berries and branches.
is a bitter white crystalline xanthine
that acts as a psychoactive stimulant drug
and a mild diuretic
(speeds up urine production) in humans and other animals. Caffeine was discovered by a German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge
, in 1819. He coined the term "kaffein", a chemical compound in coffee
, which in English became caffeine. Caffeine is also called guaranine
when found in guarana
when found in mate
, and theine
when found in tea
; all of these names are synonyms for the same chemical compound.
Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants. It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the cherries of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush, as well as from various foods and drinks containing products derived from the kola nut. Other sources include yerba mate, guarana berries, and the Yaupon Holly.
is a thick by-product from the processing of the sugar beet
or sugar cane
. (In some parts of the US, molasses
also refers to syrup
.) The word molasses
comes from the Portuguese
, which comes from "meli", the Greek word for "honey
". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or beet, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Sweet Sorghum
syrup is known as molasses in some parts of the U.S., though it is not true molasses.
) is a genus of about 125 species of trees
native to the tropical rainforests
, classified in the family Malvaceae
, subfamily Sterculioideae
(or treated in the separate family Sterculiaceae
). It is related to the South American
). They are evergreen
trees, growing to 20 m tall, with glossy ovoid leaves
up to 30 cm long.
Kola was used to make cola soft drinks, though today most of these mass-produced beverages use artificial flavourings. Some exceptions are Barr's Red Kola, Red Bull's new Simply Cola, Harboe Original Taste Cola, Foxon Park Kola, Blue Sky Organic Cola, Whole Foods Market 365 Cola, Sprecher's Puma Kola, Virgil's Real Cola, and Cricket Cola, the latter being made from kola nuts and green tea. In 2007, United Kingdom supermarket Tesco introduced an American Premium Cola that uses kola nuts, spices and vanilla.
is a process applied to cereal
grains, in which the grains are made to germinate
by soaking in water and are then quickly halted from germinating further by drying/heating
with hot air. Malting is thus a combination of two processes; namely the sprouting
process and the kiln-drying
process. These latter terms are often preferred when referring to the field of brewing for batches of beer or other beverages as they provide more in-depth information.
Malted grain is used to make malt beer, malt whisky, malted shakes, malt vinegar, and some baked goods, such as bagels. Malting grains develops the enzymes that are required to modify the grain's starches into sugars, including monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, etc.) and disaccharides (sucrose, etc.). It also develops other enzymes, such as proteases which break down the proteins in the grain into forms which can be utilized by yeast. Barley is the most commonly malted grain in part because of its high diastatic power or enzyme content. Also very important is the retention of the grain's husk even after threshing, unlike the bare seeds of threshed wheat or rye. This protects the growing acrospire (developing plant embryo) from damage during malting, which can easily lead to mold growth. It also allows the mash of converted grain to create a filter bed during lautering (see brewing). Other grains may be malted, especially wheat.
are eukaryotic microorganisms
classified in the kingdom Fungi
, with about 1,500 species
currently described; they dominate fungal diversity in the oceans. Most reproduce asexually
, although a few do so by binary fission
. Yeasts are unicellular, although some species with yeast forms may become multicellular through the formation of a string of connected budding cells known as pseudohyphae
, or false hyphae
as seen in most molds
. Yeast size can vary greatly depending on the species, typically measuring 3–4 µm
, although some yeasts can reach over 40 µm.
The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. It is also extremely important as a model organism in modern cell biology research, and is the most thoroughly researched eukaryotic microorganism. Researchers have used it to gather information into the biology of the eukaryotic cell and ultimately human biology. Other species of yeast, such as Candida albicans, are opportunistic pathogens and can cause infection in humans. Yeasts have recently been used to generate electricity in microbial fuel cells, and produce ethanol for the biofuel industry.
Yeasts do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping. At present it is estimated that only 1% of all yeast species have been described. The term "yeast" is often taken as a synonym for S. cerevisiae, but the phylogenetic diversity of yeasts is shown by their placement in both divisions Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The budding yeasts ("true yeasts") are classified in the order Saccharomycetales.
is the seed of the monocot
plant Oryza sativa
, of the grass family (Poaceae). As a cereal grain
, it is the most important staple food
for a large part of the world's human population
, especially in tropical Latin America
and Southeast Asia
. It is the grain
with the second highest worldwide production, after maize
Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is probably the most important grain with regards to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by our species. A traditional food plant in Africa, rice has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare. In early 2008, some governments and retailers began rationing supplies of the grain due to fears of a global rice shortage.
The name wild rice is usually used for species of the grass genus Zizania, both wild and domesticated, although the term may also be used for primitive or uncultivated varieties of Oryza.
Rice is normally grown as an annual plant, although in tropical areas it can survive as a perennial and can produce a ratoon crop for up to 20 years. The rice plant can grow to 1–1.8 m tall, occasionally more depending on the variety and soil fertility. The grass has long, slender leaves 50–100 cm long and 2–2.5 cm broad. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30–50 cm long. The edible seed is a grain (caryopsis) 5–12 mm long and 2–3 mm thick.
Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is very labor-intensive to cultivate and requires plenty of water for cultivation. On the other hand, mechanized cultivation is extremely oil-intensive, more than other food products with the exception of beef and dairy products. Rice can be grown practically anywhere, even on a steep hill or mountain. Although its parent species are native to South Asia and certain parts of Africa, centuries of trade and exportation have made it commonplace in many cultures worldwide.
is a natural white crystalline alkaloid
(painkilling), and anti-inflammatory
properties and a bitter taste. It is a stereoisomer
Quinine is a flavor component of tonic water and bitter lemon. According to tradition, the bitter taste of anti-malarial quinine tonic led British colonials in India to mix it with gin, thus creating the gin and tonic cocktail, which is still popular today in many parts of the world, especially the U.K., United States, southern Canada, parts of Australia and even Lhasa, Tibet.
is a key ingredient in the production of mezcal
, and one of the best-known mezcals is tequila
. Tequila is a spirit
made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila
, 65 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara
, and in the highlands (Los Altos
) of the western Mexican state
The red volcanic soil in the surrounding region is particularly well suited to the growing of the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year. Agave tequila grows differently depending on the region. Blue agaves grown in the Highlands region are larger in size and sweeter in aroma and taste. Agaves harvested in the Lowlands, on the other hand, have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavor.