In what could actually be called a ‘high spirited’ change, a scientist as well as a food technology research scholar at Sri Venkateshwara University (SVU), by the name of Sangati Chennakesava Reddy, seems to have figured out the Indian alternative solution of the Mexican Tequila in the form of a tentatively accepted patent.
Tequila may be a popular beverage, but is also a state in Mexico, the drink being established by way of the Declaration for Protection of Appellation of Origin in 1974. An appellation of origin is the name of a geographical region that serves to entitle a product that is sourced from that area. Moreover, quality and characteristics of the said product is owing to the particular geographical area, including natural and human factors, therefore creating a connexion between the quality and characteristic of the product as well as the place and associates the geographical environment and human factors, further foiling the appellation from becoming a generic name. The State of Tequila in Mexico is not only the owner and holder of every right concerning this appellation of origin but also reserves the right to authorize and administer use of the name ‘Tequila’, under the aegis of the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI).
The plant, ‘Agave Americana’ which grows in Mexico at a frenzied rate, is used to make the popular alcoholic beverage. Also the Agave Tequilana Weber, produced from distillation of Agave Americana, is a blue variety agave, grown and harvested within the confines of the region of Tequila. The agave is known as Mezcales the high-alcohol product obtained by distillation of the former and rectification of musts, forthwith arranged from a smidgen of ripe agave heads, hitherto cooked and subjected to fermentation with refined or non-refined yeast, additionally supplemented with other sugars as per certain ratio.
The Indian counterpart or ‘cousin’ of the agave has remained unmapped; the crux portion of ‘Naara Kalabanda’ or ‘Kittha Naara’ (the Agave Albomarginata of Agavaceae family, as per Biologists) grown in the arid region of Rayaseelama in Andhra Pradesh has a high starch content used for concocting ethanol. Chennakesava Reddy found that the plant had this high starch deposit in its lapel zone (the trunk between roots and leaves), which could be extracted and distilled to prepare pure alcohol in an economic manner. He was aided by other professors at SVU. The quartet, confirmed their results about this apparent tequila manufacturing plant, adding that at 45%, the alcohol content in this plant is much higher in comparison to the 10-13% found in other plant sources. Further they mentioned that the plants observe colossal growth in 2-3 years and the lapel zone single-handedly grows in equivalence to the size of that of a 100 kg plus rice bag, meaning that extraction can only be taken from the mature plants, therefore giving a window period for a time gap.
They further added that post second distillation, at 99% purity, the resulting concoction could be even used as an automobile fuel. According to them the plant’s high starch content would be beneficial for producing good quality alcohol in a cost-effective way as the plant possesses the potential to change the economy of this dry belt region, thereby not requiring any chemical additions. The alcohol which has been coined as ‘Naturohol’ in the patent application is more natural and less spurious, unlike the usual alcoholic beverages available.
Thanks to the efforts of this ensemble, no sooner Tequila’s Indian counterpart would catch affinity with alcohol aficionados and the like, encouraging the Indian mass towards the realm of intellectual property in which they are yet to immerse themselves, bringing out future eureka moments, as well as putting our country in sync with the heart of Make-In-India campaign.