Evaluation of a potentially probiotic non-dairy beverage developed with honey and kefir grains: Fermentation kinetics and storage study

Food Sci Technol Int. 2016 Dec;22(8):732-742. doi: 10.1177/1082013216646491. Epub 2016 Apr 26.


The aim of this work was to study the fermentation process of honey with kefir grains through a comprehensive understanding of its rheological properties, probiotic cell viability, instrumental color parameters and kinetic aspects in a batch bioreactor and during storage. The results showed that kefir grains were well adapted to bioreactor conditions, reaching high levels of cell viability (over 106 CFU mL-1 for total yeast and bacteria), phenolic compounds content (190 GAE/100 g) and acidification after 24 h of fermentation at 30 ℃. Colorimetric analysis showed that lightness (L*) and redness (a*) remained constant, while yellowness intensities (b*) decreased during fermentation time. After 35 days of storage, honey kefir beverage maintained its chemical characteristics and microbial viability as required to be classified as a probiotic product. The Ostwald-de-Waele (R2 ≥ 0.98) and Herschel-Bulkley (R2 ≥ 0.99) models can be used to predict the behavior of honey kefir beverage. The parameters analyzed in this study should be taken into account for industrial production of this novel non-dairy beverage.

Keywords: Kefir beverage; bioreactor; fermentation; kinetic; non-dairy functional beverage; viscosity.

MeSH terms

  • Beverages / microbiology*
  • Fermentation*
  • Food Handling
  • Food Storage*
  • Honey / microbiology*
  • Kefir / microbiology*
  • Microbial Viability
  • Nitrogen / chemistry
  • Probiotics / analysis*
  • Taste


  • Nitrogen