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Lactic Acid Bacteria: Promising Supplements for Enhancing the Biological Activities of Kombucha


Lactic Acid Bacteria: Promising Supplements for Enhancing the Biological Activities of Kombucha

Nguyen Khoi Nguyen et al. Springerplus.


Kombucha is sweetened black tea that is fermented by a symbiosis of bacteria and yeast embedded within a cellulose membrane. It is considered a health drink in many countries because it is a rich source of vitamins and may have other health benefits. It has previously been reported that adding lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus) strains to kombucha can enhance its biological functions, but in that study only lactic acid bacteria isolated from kefir grains were tested. There are many other natural sources of lactic acid bacteria. In this study, we examined the effects of lactic acid bacteria from various fermented Vietnamese food sources (pickled cabbage, kefir and kombucha) on kombucha's three main biological functions: glucuronic acid production, antibacterial activity and antioxidant ability. Glucuronic acid production was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, antibacterial activity was assessed by the agar-well diffusion method and antioxidant ability was evaluated by determining the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capacity. Four strains of food-borne pathogenic bacteria were used in our antibacterial experiments: Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 19111, Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Salmonella typhimurium ATCC 14028 and Bacillus cereus ATCC 11778. Our findings showed that lactic acid bacteria strains isolated from kefir are superior to those from other sources for improving glucuronic acid production and enhancing the antibacterial and antioxidant activities of kombucha. This study illustrates the potential of Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum isolated from kefir as biosupplements for enhancing the bioactivities of kombucha.

Keywords: 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; Antibacterial activity; Fermented tea; Glucuronic acid; Kombucha.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Glucuronic acid production of kombucha fermented by the kombucha layer and supplementation with Lactobacillus spp. ( lac1 lac5 ). Original kombucha: fermented sweetened black tea only (kombucha layer). Unfermented tea: sweetened black tea. The significant differences between samples are indicated by superscript letters (a–c) with p ≤ 0.05.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Plot of the DPPH free radical-scavenging activity of each fermented tea sample at various concentrations. The amount of sample that inhibits 50% of the DPPH indicates its IC50 value, which is inversely proportional to its antioxidant effect.

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