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Rev Latinoam Microbiol. 2003 Jan-Jun;45(1-2):5-11.

Manufacture of a beverage from cheese whey using a "tea fungus" fermentation.

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Departamento de Graduados e Investigación en Alimentos, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Carpio y Plan de Ayala, México, DF.


Kombucha is a sour beverage reported to have potential health effects prepared from the fermentation of black tea and sugar with a "tea fungus", a symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria and yeasts. Although black tea is the preferred substrate for Kombucha fermentation, other beverages have also been tested as substrates with fair results. Cheese whey is a by-product with a good amount of fermentable lactose that has been used before in the production of beverages, so the objective of this study was to test three types of whey (fresh sweet, fresh acid and reconstituted sweet) in the elaboration of a fermented beverage using a kombucha culture as inoculum. The isolation and identification of bacteria and yeasts from the fermented tea and wheys was done along with the study of the rates of change in sugar consumption, acid production and pH decrease. Several species of acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacter aceti subsp. aceti, Gluconobacter oxydans subsp. industrius, subsp. oxydans and Gluconoacetobacter xylinus) were isolated from the different kombuchas along with the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Kluyveromyces marxianus, and Brettanomyces bruxelensis. The main metabolic products in the fermented wheys included ethanol, lactic and acetic acids. A good growth was obtained in both sweet wheys in which a pH of 3.3 and a total acid content (mainly lactic and acetic acids) of 0.07 mol/l was reached after 96 h. The sweet whey fermented beverages contained a relatively low lactose concentration (< 12 g/l). The final ethanol content was low (5 g/l) in all the fermented wheys. The whey products were strongly sour and salty non sparkling beverages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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