Advantages And Disadvantages Of Kombucha

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Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage originating from China during the Tsin Dynasty (approximately 220 BC) and is typically made by using green or black tea leaves. These leaves come from the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis which is endogenous to Southeast Asia. The different categories of tea (green & black) are due to the varying levels of oxidation that the leaves go through during processing, with green tea being one of the least oxidised and black tea being the most oxidised/processed. Kombucha is made up of four basic components tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria and together they form a sweet, slightly fizzy, sharp tasting drink which many people believe has a variety of health benefits, ranging from improving mood stability to managing…show more content…
At this point the sweet tea solution is essentially sterile due to the use of boiling water. In order to ensure that the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast(s) is not denatured by the temperature of the tea solution, the tea base is allowed to cool. Adding the S.C.O.B.Y. while the tea base is still near boiling point will damage or even kill the microorganisms in the starter S.C.O.B.Y and lead to an unsuccessful fermentation. The poly-microbial community associated with kombucha is temperature and pH sensitive and will not reproduce if either one or both of these environmental factors are at an incorrect level. With regard to temperature the tea solution needs to be at the very most below 32°C before adding the starter S.C.O.B.Y. The optimum temperature for a kombucha fermentation is 25°C. Additionally it should be noted that refrigerating the tea solution will send the S.C.O.B.Y. into dormancy as the tea solution would be too cold and will result in a prolonged and staggered fermentation. The optimal temperature range for a kombucha fermentation is between 25°C and 32°C which is ideal for S.C.O.B.Y. microorganisms belonging to the bacterial genera of Acetobacter, Lactobacillus and Gluconacetobacter, also yeast species belonging to the Zygosaccharomyces genus, and specifically Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis, thrive at these temperatures. The bacteria present in kombucha are acidophiles and flourish in a low pH environment, generally the teas used for a kombucha fermentation range in pH from 2.9 to 6.3 (add reference) but these tea bases may not be at an optimal pH range to support the growth of Lactobacilli, Acetobacter and Gluconacetobacter species, namely Gluconacetobacter kombuchae, which will grow at a pH of 5.0 to 6.3. To ensure that these desired bacteria grow, a starter liquid is added
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