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Home Georgian Technologies Soil and Climate of Georgia Determining Extreme Variety of Food of the Country

Soil and Climate of Georgia Determining Extreme Variety of Food of the Country

Description

Georgia belongs to the Alpine System of Eurasia. Its geological and geomorphological structures reveal great diversity resulting from tectonic, volcanic, petrologic, gravitational, erosion, and other processes. The climate of Georgia is one of extremes. One can distinguish several climatic zones from the humid, subtropical to the permanent snow and glaciers. Among diverse ecological niches should be mentioned thermal sulphur hot springs, alkaline soil, etc. As for food in Georgia above 150 different varieties of cultural and above 50 wild plants are used. Vegetables such as: Allium porum L, Allium ursium L, Smilax excelsa L, Urtica urens L, Urtixa dioica L and Portulaca oleracea L are widely spread in both Eastern and Western parts of Georgia. According to present knowledge above mentioned vegetables are rich in a number of bioactive compounds, including flavonoids. Traditionally in Georgia are very popular cold collations (dishes) prepared from these vegetables (Allium porum L is edible and delicious in a raw way too), named “Phkhali”. The technology of preparation is simple: boiling of the vegetation, squeezing and seasoning with different raw greens, walnuts (in most cases), spices and vinegar, these dishes are necessary components of everyday and especially ceremonial tables.

According to Vavilov (1930), the domestication of grapevine took place in the Caucasian area. The amazing profusion and diversity of wild and cultural vine species (the existence of 500 endemic vine species has been established in Georgia) serves as a confirmation of the statement.

With the use of molecular markers, more specifically microsatellite markers that proved to be well reproductive over laboratories, we have now a tool in order to estimate the degree of diversity in the Caucasian area, for wild as well as cultivated accessions.

One of the main challenges for the European viticulture is the reduction of the use of pesticides (40 % of all pesticides are used on grape even if it represents only 15% of the total agricultural areas). The breeding of resistant varieties might become more important.

Beside the fact that wine is very important for economy of South Caucasian countries, the cultivation of grapes and consumption of wine does also have social and historical aspects. From time of immemorial in Georgia the ancient national technology of winemaking has been used. The main point of the Georgian technology consists of alcoholic fermentation of grape juice together with solid parts of bunches, enriching the fermented grape juice with extra organics, and carrying out the fermentation process in a special vessels buried in the ground.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

Variety of food and dishes. Rich in flavonoids wine, and different low calorie delicious vegetable dishes. Based on developed genetic tools breeding of resistant varieties of grape including pesticide resistant varieties, which is a challenge for Europe.

Areas of Application

Food production, agriculture, bioprospecting. Genetic resources.


Table. 1 The content of total phenolic compounds in white and red
wines prepared according to European style and Georgian Technology.

Stage of Development

Great variety of food and dishes, including vegetable dishes with pharmaceutical properties. Genetic tools for grape variety testing.

Contact Details

Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Contact person: Professor George Kvesitadze
Address: David Agmasheneblis Kheivani, 10 km. 0159 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 52 8238;
Tel/Fax: (995 32) 52 8026
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.dibb-georgia.org

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