Kombucha is a fermented functional beverage that started as a homemade beverage and grew into a commercial product in the U.S. by the turn of this century. The number of companies producing kombucha, as well as the variety of kombucha products, is increasing rapidly. The scientific research on kombucha also got active along with the growth in the market. The topics of kombucha research can be grouped into the substrate used in fermentation, the microbial composition of the cultures, processing methods, chemical composition, the health benefits and health risks associated with consumption, the utilization of symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBYs), etc. There are several already published in-depth scientific reviews covering these topics. Even with the sensory characteristics of kombucha being a critical aspect of the beverage, there are not many publications covering the sensory and consumer research on this beverage. This review paper aims to provide the current market status of kombucha and to show a need for scientific sensory and consumer research studies to help the kombucha researchers and industry working on this fast-growing beverage.
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