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Article

Microbial Diversity and Characteristics of Kombucha as Revealed by Metagenomic and Physicochemical Analysis

1
The Pangenomics Group, School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3083, Australia
2
The Good Brew Co., Brunswick, Melbourne, VIC 3056, Australia
3
The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sandra Martin-Pelaez, Leyuan Li and Malgorzata Muc-Wierzgon
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4446; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124446
Received: 15 November 2021 / Revised: 7 December 2021 / Accepted: 8 December 2021 / Published: 13 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Probiotics, Prebiotics and Postbiotics in Human Health)
Kombucha is a fermented tea made from a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) with a long history of use as a health tonic. It is likely that most health benefits come from the tea and fermentation metabolites from specific microbial communities. Despite its growing importance as a functional health drink, the microbial ecosystem present in kombucha has not been fully documented. To characterize the microbial composition and biochemical properties of ‘The Good Brew’ original base kombucha, we used metagenomics amplicon (16S rRNA and ITS) sequencing to identify the microbial communities at the taxonomic level. We identified 34 genera with 200 microbial species yet described in kombucha. The dominance of organic acid producing microorganisms Acetobacter, Komagataeibacter and Starmerella are healthy for the human gut and their glucose metabolising activities have a putative role in preventing conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Kombucha contains high protein (3.31 µg/mL), high phenolic content (290.4 mg/100 mL) and low sugars (glucose: 1.87 g/L; sucrose 1.11 g/L; fructose: 0.05 g/L) as compared to green tea. The broad microbial diversity with proven health benefits for the human gut suggests kombucha is a powerful probiotic. These findings are important to improve the commercial value of kombucha and uncover the immense prospects for health benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteria; kombucha; metagenomics; microbial diversity; yeast; physiochemical bacteria; kombucha; metagenomics; microbial diversity; yeast; physiochemical
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kaashyap, M.; Cohen, M.; Mantri, N. Microbial Diversity and Characteristics of Kombucha as Revealed by Metagenomic and Physicochemical Analysis. Nutrients 2021, 13, 4446. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124446

AMA Style

Kaashyap M, Cohen M, Mantri N. Microbial Diversity and Characteristics of Kombucha as Revealed by Metagenomic and Physicochemical Analysis. Nutrients. 2021; 13(12):4446. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124446

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kaashyap, Mayank, Marc Cohen, and Nitin Mantri. 2021. "Microbial Diversity and Characteristics of Kombucha as Revealed by Metagenomic and Physicochemical Analysis" Nutrients 13, no. 12: 4446. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124446

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