Structural determination of glucosylceramides in the distillation remnants of shochu, the Japanese traditional liquor, and its production by Aspergillus kawachii

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 21;60(46):11473-82. doi: 10.1021/jf303117e. Epub 2012 Nov 12.


Shochu is traditional Japanese liquor produced from various crops and fungi Aspergillus kawachi or A. awamorii . The amount of unutilized shochu distillation remnants is increasing because of the recent prohibition of ocean dumping of these remnants. In this Article, we first describe the structures of glucosylceramides contained in shochu distillation remnants by fragment ion analysis using ESI-tandem mass spectrometry. Shochu distillation remnant produced from barley contained glucosylceramides d18:2/C16:0h, d18:2/C20:0h, d19:2/C18:1h, and d18:2/C18:0h. Koji (barley fermented with A. kawachii) contained the same glucosylceramides. Shochu distillation remnants produced from rice contained glucosylceramides d18:2/C18:0h and d19:2/C18:1h. The culture broth of A. kawachii contained glucosylceramides d19:2/C18:1h and d19:2/C18:0h. These results indicate that the glucosylceramides contained in crops and those produced by A. kawachii transfer through the processes of fermentation with yeast and distillation to the shochu distillation remnant. This information will enable utilization of shochu distillation remnants and koji as novel sources of sphingolipids.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / analysis*
  • Alcoholic Beverages / microbiology
  • Aspergillus / metabolism*
  • Distillation
  • Fermentation
  • Glucosylceramides / chemistry*
  • Glucosylceramides / metabolism
  • Hordeum / chemistry
  • Hordeum / metabolism
  • Hordeum / microbiology*
  • Japan
  • Molecular Structure
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Glucosylceramides