Novel use of Kombucha consortium to reduce Escherichia coli in dairy shed effluent

J Sci Food Agric. 2021 Nov;101(14):6143-6146. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.11250. Epub 2021 Apr 22.


Background: Faecal contamination from dairy farm effluent is a major risk to water quality in New Zealand. In this experiment we have tested the efficacy of Kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), to reduce the concentration of Escherichia coli in dairy shed effluent (DSE).

Results: Kombucha SCOBY was highly effective in lowering the number of E. coli colony forming units (CFUs) to levels that were undetectable. The decrease in CFUs occurred rapidly within 48 h of Kombucha SCOBY being inoculated to the effluent matrix and was accompanied by a corresponding decline in pH.

Conclusion: We conclude that Kombucha SCOBY was effective in reducing the abundance of E. coli in DSE due to its effect on solution pH. Further work is required to assess the practicality of treating DSE with Kombucha SCOBY within a farm environment where effluent management and climatic complexities are important. © 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; Kombucha SCOBY; dairy shed effluent; effluent treatment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Fermentation
  • Livestock
  • Microbial Consortia
  • Waste Management / methods*
  • Yeasts / growth & development
  • Yeasts / metabolism*