|Title||MISHING’S APONG – AN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF ASSAM|
Babita Phukan Borkotoky, Mridula Neog & Iswar Chandra Barua
Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, INDIA
“Apong”, the fermented rice product of Mishing tribe plays a significant role in their socio cultural life. Mishings usually prepare two varieties of Apong and use a number of plant species in making the starter culture for rice beer fermentation. This paper documented 51 species of plants which are used by Mishings in their starter culture, the “Epop” or “Epoppitha”. Three species of microflora belonging to Saccharomyces and one species both of Mucor and Rhizopus were detected in these starter cultures. Chemical analysis revealed that both the Apong varieties contained as much as 5% alcohol, however, “Nogin Apong” possessed higher calorific value than “Po:ro Apong”. Both the variety of Apong possessed nearly same number and kind of free amino acids. These unfiltered and unpasteurized “life” beers possessed remarkable territorial identity, compared to commercially sold wine or “dead” beers, and scope for registration under Geographical Indications of Goods Act.