Multi-Strain Probiotics Enhance the Bioactivity of Cascara Kombucha during Microbial Composition-Controlled Fermentation

Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2023 Dec 31;28(4):502-513. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2023.28.4.502.


Kombucha is a widely consumed fermented tea beverage with diverse health benefits. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the use of cascara as a substrate results in a special kombucha beverage with high bioactivity. Traditional kombucha fermentation using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) can lead to inconsistent product quality because of the lack of control over microbial composition. We successfully isolated and identified yeast and bacteria, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Komagataeibacter rhaeticus, and Lactobacillus brevis that are appropriate starter cultures for cascara kombucha fermentation. We also demonstrated that a supplementation with lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and a mixture of S. cerevisiae and K. rhaeticus resulted in higher total polyphenol and flavonoid content of cascara kombucha compared with the traditionally fermented product using SCOBY as the inoculum. The free radical scavenging activity, inhibitory effects on α-amylase, tyrosinase activity, and antibacterial properties of cascara kombucha were also enhanced as a result of LAB supplement. These findings provide valuable insights into the controlled microbiological composition required for the fermentation of cascara kombucha, thereby ensuring consistent quality and enhanced bioactivity of the product. Further, the use of cascara as a substrate for kombucha production not only offers various health benefits and biological effects, but also repurposes by-products from the coffee industry, which contributes to sustainable development and is eco-friendly.

PMID:38188087 | PMC:PMC10764222 | DOI:10.3746/pnf.2023.28.4.502