Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2004 09:40:10 -0700
From: “Michael Roussin” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [KT] What are the KT pro-biotics?
Good Morning All and Happy New Year!
> 1. Are you still brewing Kombucha and consuming?
> 2. Would you recommend consumption of Kombucha and if so for what reason?
> 3. Has it benefited you healthwise?
1. Yes I still consume Kombucha – 4 ounces on an empty stomach. That is all.
2. I would recommend Kombucha as a daily supplement to the diet, butI’m from the all things in moderation age and don’t believe that consuming large quantities of Kombucha adds additional benefits. I think a small amount on a daily basis is sufficient.
3. My blood pressure dropped about 20 points when I started drinking Kombucha and has stayed lower over the years. Also, my dental health improved and has also stayed better over the years.
Okay, there are too many questions to answer without it becoming a small book, but since the topic is living organisms in Kombucha, here is what we found:The mainstay of Kombucha ferments in North America appear to be Acetobacter xylinum, Zygosaccharomyces, Saccharomyces cerevisia. Unlike the research in the Fromm paper, which showed Brettanyomyces, Zygosaccharomyces and Saccharomyces appearing in 56%, 29%, and 26% of the tested ferments
respectively, we did not isolate Brettanyomyces from any of the ferments we examined. Saccharomyces, Zygo-saccharomyces and Saccharomycodes were the most common yeast in the ferments we examined. Of the genus of Acetobacter, Acetobacter xylinum was the most frequently isolated.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the leading species of its genus found in Kombucha. It reproduces by multi-polar budding or ascospore formation. It is employed in many food industries with special strains being used for the
leavening of bread, as top yeasts for ale, and for the production of alcohol, glycerol, and invertase. The invertase production is of special interest in the fermenting of Kombucha, because invertase catalyzes the
hydrolysis of sucrose into glucose and fructose. Invertase is a fructosidase which attacks the fructose end of the sucrose molecule, in contrast to the glucosidase of molds that attack the glucose end.
Zygosaccharomyces are still considered by some to be a subgenus of Saccharomyces. These yeasts are notable for their ability to grow in high concentrations of sugar, and they are involved in the spoilage of honey,
syrups and molasses. They are also used in the fermentation of soy sauce. Saccharomycodes are a lemon-shaped yeast which are considered objectionable in wine fermentations because they give off-flavors, low yields of alcohol,
and high yields of volatile acids.
Acetobacter xylinum is an acetic acid-producing bacteria that oxidizes ethyl alcohol to acetic acid and other oxidation products. It is not suitable for many commercial applications because of its excessive sliminess, which clogs vinegar generators.
During our investigation, two ferments that we considered to be opposites were examined. The first colony and ferment was very high in acetic acid, and the second colony and ferment was low in acetic acid, but very high in
gluconic acid. . The colonies were placed in sealed Ziplock bags at room temperature for 30 days to observe which organisms could be isolated after such storage. The isolated organisms were identified by the Biolog
MicrosationT System and confirmed by biochemical testing. The species of the organisms were determined by comparing their biochemical profile to those of known bacterial strains. The organisms tested from the high acetic acid ferment were morphologically and biochemically similar to the following: Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, and Rothia dentrocariosa. The genus of Bacillus is generally associated with the soil and the grower of this particular ferment used well water.
From the second low acetic acid ferment, Bacillus coagulans was isolated.
We had not previously screened Kombucha for these types of organisms, for we had studied the ferment from the point of view of what microorganisms produced the ferment. It was surprising to find that these organisms were
capable of surviving in the Kombucha ferment. So, what are these other organisms?
Bacillus licheniformis is a mild form of food poisoning and is frequently associated with cooked meats and vegetables that have been left at room temperature. According to Barbara M. Lund, (The Lancet Oct 20, 1990 v336
n8721 p982(5), the illnesses caused by B. cereus, B. subtilis, B. licheniformis and C. perfringens can easily be prevented by properrefrigeration. The major features of food-poisoning due to B. licheniformis in outbreaks recorded in the UK (24 episodes, [is greater than] 218 cases, 1975-86) were that: (a) the food vehicles most often involved were cooked meats and vegetables; (b) the median period of incubation was about 8 hours and the predominant symptom was diarrhea with vomiting in about half the cases (although the nausea, headaches, flushing, and sweating associated with B. subtilis food-poisoning were not characteristic of B. licheniformis (food-poisoning). B. licheniformis has been excepted for use in commercial fermentation processes for enzymes, antibiotics and other specialty chemicals by the EPA (TSCA Section 5(H)(4) Exemption for Bacillus licheniformis: History of safe commercial use). B. licheniformis has been used in the fermentation industry for over a decade for production of
proteases, amylases, antibiotics, or specialty chemicals. The ATCC Catalogue of Bacteria and Phages lists strains which are capable of producing alkaline proteases, a-amylases, penicillinase, pentosanases, bacitracin, proticin,
5′-inosinic acid and inosine, citric acid, and substituted L-tryptophan.
Rothia dentrocariosa is a common component of dental caries. According to Stuart J. Ruben, The Western Journal of Medicine,( Dec 1993 v159 n6 p690(2)) Rothia was first described as a genus in 1967 by Georg and Brown and shown in 1969 to be pathogenic but of low virulence. This aerobic organism is gram-positive and varies in form from coccoid to filamentous to rod shaped. Branching is seen at times in the filamentous form, which resembles
Actinomyces, Corynebacterium, and Nocardia species. It is a component of normal oral flora that can be recovered from dental caries and plaque. We can only surmise that somewhere in the history of this particular colony,
someone tried to take a bite out of it. The Bacillus found the environment suitable, and survives generation to generation.
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens is employed in fermentation processes. Its presence in Kombucha is not totally surprising.
Bacillus coagulans is aciduric and produces a low pH (4.0 to 5.0) in media containing utilizable carbohydrates. Spoilage of acid foods, such as canned tomatoes, is usually cased by Bacillus coagulans. B. coagulans is a flat
sour bacteria that can produce considerable amounts of lactic acid from sugar. We note here that we found little or no lactic acid in most ferments. A bottled ferment from Temple City Kombucha of Culver City, California was
the only ferment we examined with any appreciable concentration of lactic acid.
I hope that helps.
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