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Scientist files for patent on Indian ‘Tequila’

A scientist has filed a patent on what has been described as the Indian version of Tequila made using a plant from the agavaceae family.

A scientist has filed a patent on what has been described as the Indian version of Tequila

Mexico’s native spirit is made from agave americana, but scholar Sangati Chennakesava Reddy has found that agave albomarginata of agavaceae family – known locally as Naara Kalabanda or Kittha Naara –  can be used to make ethanol.

Chennakesava Reddy, who studies food technology at Sri Venkateswara University (SVU), discovered the plant has high starch deposits in its collar zone – the part of the plant between the roots and leaves – that can be distilled to make pure alcohol.

“At 45%, the alcohol content in this plant is much higher than the 10%-13% found in other plant sources,” DVR Saigopal, coordinator of DST-PURSE programme and professor of virology at SVU, told The Hindu.

Agave albomarginata grows wildly in the arid Rayalaseema region of India, and is currently used by farmers as a natural fence for their orchards.

The plant, which takes around two years to grow, generates 45% alcohol that is suitable for consumption, and the scientist is currently in talks with a distiller for mass production.

“The plant witnesses huge growth in two to three years and the pith portion alone grows half the size of a rice bag, weighing more than 100kg,” commented Shaik Kaleemullah, professor of agricultural engineering at SV Agricultural College, who is involved with the project.

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