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We collaborated with the Natural Science Students at Exeter University.

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

The University of Exeter Natural Science Students set out to maximise the health benefits of kombucha and this is what happened…..

The students two aims were to maximise the polyphenols in the kombucha and characterise the bacteria that are present in our kombucha and what factors will result in the most beneficial bacteria being present in our kombucha.

We all know by now why beneficial bacteria is crucial and essential to our gut (if you're new here check out our previous posts!). But Polyphenols....what's the big deal here..... Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an excessive synthesis of reactive oxides also known as free radicals. The molecules can travel through cell structures and cause cell death or tissue damage, which can then lead to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer.

The students focused on 3 main factors:

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). Most of literature and commercial kombucha is dominated by black tea and green tea. So the students set out to compare between the two!

2 - Young SCOBY vs Older SCOBY

Previous studies have shown that older SCOBIES contain a higher percentage of lactic acid bacteria which is beneficial to gut health.

3 - Adding blackberries to the fermentation process.

This is new to literature, by adding blackberries to the fermentation process (initially) will hopefully increase polyphenol content of the kombucha product.

The natural scientists began brewing their booch!

And explained a few things in SNAZZY scientific language about the brewing process that we'd thought we'd share - Dad and I had a good giggle trying to pronounce (Mum being in STEM was like duck to water with the pronunciation!):

  • During the incubation period the yeast and the SCOBY use an enzyme called invertase, to hydrolyse the sucrose into fructose and glucose . These metabolites are then fermented into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

  • The bacterial population in the SCOBY is dominated by: Acetic Acid Bacteria which belong to the KOMAGATEIBACTER, GLUCONOBACTER and GLUCANACETOBCTER - These organisms further oxidise the alcohol content present into organic acids and inhibits the growth of any pathogenic species.

The end product of the fermentation process - kombucha - is teeming with supplementary compounds that have profound impact on human health.

Check back next week for the results.

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