Tapuy, a local rice wine very popular in the Cordillera Province may soon sit side-by-side with Japanese sake, Malaysian tapai, Chinese chao chingchu, and the likes in international wine cellars. This international market prospect is made clearer by researchers at the Department of Science and Technology’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) who found the key to better quality tapuy by improving the process of producing the starter.


The exquisite taste of tapuy oozes from bubod , a wine starter that can consistently produce quality tapuy with improved yield and appealing taste. Tapuy is prepared by fermenting glutinous rice using bubod. After fermentation, the glutinous rice becomes soft, with liquid forming on top of the mixture. This liquid is tapuy, known for its acidic but sweet alcoholic flavor and a pleasant aroma.


DOST-ITDI  standardizes wine starter to improve tapuy quality

The secret behind making good tapuy is good quality bubod. As part of DOST-ITDI’s continuing quest to help improve the competitiveness of the local industries, ITDI-based experts finally standardized the process of making good quality bubod.


Traditionally, bubod comes in the form of flattened and rounded balls of various sizes and are compact and dry.


According to Michelle Evaristo, Science Research Specialist II at ITDI’s Food Processing Division and also the project leader, the improved bubod is made from powdered NFA rice and cassava flour, both cheaper than the traditionally used glutinous rice.


The researchers mix pure cultures of the mold called Rhizopus oryzae and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the rice-flour. Then they add water, form it into dough, granulate the mixture, and then incubate it to allow the growth of organisms.

The dough is oven-dried until the moisture content dips to 9-12 percent. The mold produces enzymes that will break down the starch into simple sugars, which will then be used by the yeast to produce alcohol.

DOST-ITDI standardizes wine starter to improve tapuy quality

“What makes this newly improved bubod different from the traditional one is that it is now granular in form, allowing more surface area for faster drying, as well as making organisms grow better,“ Evaristo emphasized. Hence, incubation takes only overnight instead of the traditional 48 hours. Growth of more beneficial organisms is also achieved using the granular form resulting to a pure culture that gives better quality wine. “All in all, this developed bubod has good microbial quality and is quicker to prepare,” she said. The bubod also increased rice wine yield with higher alcohol content.

In terms of shelf life, she said that the bubod can last up to 12 months and still be capable of producing good quality rice wine.

“And with the improved bubod’s good performance, starting this month, we are working on standardizing the whole process of rice wine production and we are now conducting upscale trial production and further evaluation,” she told.

This innovation has also solved a lot of problems encountered by tapuy producers, such as short shelf life, low yield, higher production cost, adulteration, inconsistency in the quality of bubod, and packaging-related problems, she added.

DOST-CAR (Cordillera Autonomous Region) with ITCI are currently poised for a dry run in preparation for the eventual commercialization of the technology. (Del-Delica Gotis, April 18, 2013)

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