Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

SFP > SFP Volume 4 > Characteristics of Kombucha Fermentation from...
< Back to Volume

Characteristics of Kombucha Fermentation from Different Substrates and Cytotoxicity of Tea Broth

Full Text PDF


Kombucha is made from sweetened tea fermented by a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast consumed worldwide because of its potentially beneficial effects on health. However, there are only few studies on the safety of kombucha consumption that will establish it as a functional beverage. The present study compared, pH, temperature and sugar content of different tea mixtures of black or green tea as nitrogen sources and white and brown sugar as carbon sources in a 30-day fermentation period. A marked decrease in pH was observed throughout fermentation with Green tea-White (GW) sugar mixture showing the lowest recorded pH value of 2.37 on the 14th day of fermentation. Temperature is essential in the fermentation process and thus maintained at ambient 29±1°C. Black and green teas with white sugar (7°Brix) showed to have higher sugar level compared to tea mixtures with brown sugar (5°Brix). Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay was carried out to determine cytotoxicity of kombucha. The four substrate combinations have very low LC50 values with Black tea-Brown sugar (BB) mixture showing to have the lowest in both acute and chronic effects (0.073 ppm and 0.101 ppm, respectively). This indicates safety of kombucha for consumption.


Sustainable Food Production (Volume 4)
M. E. Quiao-Won and F. G. Teves, "Characteristics of Kombucha Fermentation from Different Substrates and Cytotoxicity of Tea Broth", Sustainable Food Production, Vol. 4, pp. 11-19, 2018
Online since:
December 2018

[1] R. Jayabalan et al., A review on kombucha tea—microbiology, composition, fermentation, beneficial effects, toxicity, and tea fungus, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 13(4) (2014) 538-550.


[2] C. Dufresne, E. Farnworth, Tea, Kombucha, and health: a review, Food Research International. 33 (2000) 409-421.


[3] D. Balentine Special issue: tea and health, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 8 (1997) 691-692.

[4] J. Reiss, Influence of different sugars on the metabolism of the tea fungus, Zeitschrift fuÈr Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und-For-schung. 198 (1994) 258-261.


[5] C. Liu et al., The isolalion and identification of microbes from a fermented tea beverage, Haipao, and their interactions during Haipao fermentation, Food Microbiology. 13 (1996) 407-415.


[6] P. Mayser et al., The yeast spectrum of the tea fungus kombucha,, Mycoses. 38 (1995) 289-295.


[7] A. Marsh et al., Sequence-based analysis of the bacterial and fungal compositions of multiple kombucha (tea fungus) samples, Food Microbiology. 38 (2014) 171-178.


[8] N. Hoffmann, Basic Building Blocks, Nutrients and Growth Factors, What the Kombucha culture needs to survive, 1998. Accessed on September 7, 2016. Available:

[9] A. Velićanski, A. Cvetković, S. Markov, Characteristics of Kombucha fermentation on medicinal herbs from Lamiaceae family, Romanian Biotechnological Letters. 18(1) (2013) 8034-8042.

[10] C. Fu et al., Antioxidant activities of kombucha prepared from three different substrates and changes in content of probiotics during storage, Food Sci. Technol. Campinas. 34(1) (2014) 123-126.


[11] R. Jayabalan, S. Marimuthu, K. Swaminathan, Changes in content of organic acids and tea polyphenols during kombucha tea fermentation, Food Chem. 102 (2007) 392-398.


[12] C. Chen, B. Liu, Changes in major components of tea fungus metabolites during prolonged fermentation, Journal of Applied Microbiology. 9(5) (2000) 834-839.


[13] Z. Yang et al., Hypocholesterolaemic and antioxidant effects of kombucha tea in high-cholesterol fed mice, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 89(1) (2009) 150-156.


[14] N. Nguyen et al., Lactic acid bacteria: promising supplements for enhancing the biological activities of kombucha. Springer Plus. 4 (2015) 91. DOI 10.1186/s40064-015-0872-3.

[15] M. Watawana et al., Health, Wellness, and Safety Aspects of the Consumption of Kombucha, Journal of Chemistry. 2015 (2015).

[16] B. Guevarra et al. (Eds.), A guide book to plant screening, phytochemical and biological, Manila, Philippines: University of Sto.Tomas Press, (2005).

[17] D. Finney (Ed.), Probit Analysis, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, (1952).

[18] S. Abd El-Salam, Bacterial Cellulose of Kombucha Mushroom Tea, New York Science Journal. 5(4) (2012) 81-87.

[19] L. Hlahla, F. Mudau, I. Mariga, Effect of fermentation temperature and time on the chemical composition of bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.), Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 4 (2010) 824-829.

[20] A. Shade, The Kombucha Biofilm: A Model System for Microbial Ecology. Final report on research conducted during the Microbial Diversity course, Marine Biological Laboratories, Woods Hole, MA, (2011).

[21] M. Deghrigue et al., Antiproliferative and antimicrobial activities of kombucha tea, African Journal of Microbiology Research. 7 (2013) 3466-3470.

[22] P. Semjonovs, I. Denina, R. Linde, Evaluation of physiological effects of acetic acid bacteria and yeast fermented non-alcoholic beverage consumption in rat model, J. Med. Sci. 14(3) (2014) 147-152.

Show More Hide
Cited By:

[1] J. Martínez-Leal, N. Ponce-García, A. Escalante-Aburto, "Recent Evidence of the Beneficial Effects Associated with Glucuronic Acid Contained in Kombucha Beverages", Current Nutrition Reports, 2020