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J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jun;48(6):2589-94.

Kombucha fermentation and its antimicrobial activity.

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  • 1Department of Applied Microbiology and Gene Technology, TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, Zeist, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Kombucha was prepared in a tea broth (0.5% w/v) supplemented with sucrose (10% w/v) by using a commercially available starter culture. The pH decreased steadily from 5 to 2.5 during the fermentation while the weight of the "tea fungus" and the OD of the tea broth increased through 4 days of the fermentation and remained fairly constant thereafter. The counts of acetic acid-producing bacteria and yeasts in the broth increased up to 4 days of fermentation and decreased afterward. The antimicrobial activity of Kombucha was investigated against a number of pathogenic microorganisms. Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella sonnei, Escherichia coli, Aeromonas hydrophila, Yersinia enterolitica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter cloacae, Staphylococcus epidermis, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhimurium, Bacillus cereus, Helicobacterpylori, and Listeria monocytogenes were found to be sensitive to Kombucha. According to the literature on Kombucha, acetic acid is considered to be responsible for the inhibitory effect toward a number of microbes tested, and this is also valid in the present study. However, in this study, Kombucha proved to exert antimicrobial activities against E. coli, Sh. sonnei, Sal. typhimurium, Sal. enteritidis, and Cm. jejuni, even at neutral pH and after thermal denaturation. This finding suggests the presence of antimicrobial compounds other than acetic acid and large proteins in Kombucha.

PMID:
10888589
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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