Updated: Feb 11
As mentioned in last weeks blog, we have been collaborating with the Natural Science students at Exeter University and the findings are in.....
To recap, the scientists were investigating 3 main aspects of our kombucha:
The type of tea used.
Young SCOBY vs Older SCOBY
Adding blackberries to the fermentation process (initially) which will hopefully increase polyphenol content of the kombucha product.
1 - The type of tea used
At Bennetts Kombucha we purposefully use an organic white tea (something in the early days Afn. Reg. Nutritionist Tamara took time to research) as it has more polyphenols than black tea. Most of literature and commercial kombucha is dominated by black tea and green tea. So the students set out to compare between the two!
The scientists found that there was a significant difference between Black Tea and White Tea......the White Tea (the tea we use at Bennetts Kombucha) kombucha had 2 NEW genres of bacteria - Aneyamaea and Glucnabacter (have fun pronouncing those!) which Black Tea did NOT present. These additional bacteria found in the White Tea kombucha are responsible for breaking down the ethanol into short chain organic acids which are good for your gut health.
Therefore concluding that White Tea promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria better than Black Tea.
2 - Young SCOBY vs OLD SCOBY
The Natural Science students brewed kombucha using young and old SCOBY's and found that the older SCOBY had a higher polyphenol content and a higher proportion of lactic acid which breaks down the large polyphenol chains into phenols which you an absorb easier into your gut.
"Polyphenols are an energy source for microbes" – Prof. Tim Spector
As an additional experiment the students also compared the SCOBY before fermentation and after fermentation and found that the sequences found were significantly different. This allowed for the conclusion that the fermentation process does change the bacteria composition of the SCOBY.
3 - Adding blackberries to the fermentation process
The result of adding blackberries to the fermentation process was increase in POLYPHENOL content and antioxidant capacity. And the important finding was that those additional polyphenols and antioxidants stayed throughout the whole process and into the product.
Concluding that brewing kombucha with an older SCOBY, White Tea and Blackberries is best for polyphenol, bacterial and antioxidant content and capacity!
And we at Bennetts Kombucha can conclude that the Natural Science students at Exeter University are nothing short of boochtastic. A great opportunity for all involved to discover more about this increasingly popular, gut fuelling drink that's been around for millennia and we are excited to continue this relationship!
Fuel your gut with OUR kombucha which we can confirm if full of polyphenols antioxidants and billions of beneficial bacteria, organic acids and natural yeasts!