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It contains approximately 5%(v/v) of ethanol, and is known for its fruity odour, which is partly imparted by the acetyl esters present in generous amounts. Traditionally zutho is prepared by allowing starch-rich solutions to ferment. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae acts on the starch and ferments it. Home-made zutho has a white slurry-like appearance. It can be considered as rural Nagaland's version of the more famous Japanese sake. In appearance, zutho looks much like palm wine (or toddy) that is obtained from sugar-rich saps of various trees.
- Y. Teramoto, S. Yoshida and S. Ueda: Characteristics of a rice beer (zutho) and a yeast isolated from the fermented product in Nagaland, India, World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, December 2002.