Kombucha Fermentation of Olympus Mountain Tea (Sideritis scardica) Sweetened with Thyme Honey: Physicochemical Analysis and Evaluation of Functional Properties

Foods. 2023 Sep 20;12(18):3496. doi: 10.3390/foods12183496.


This study implemented kombucha fermentation of Olympus Mountain tea (Sideritis scardica) sweetened with honey (OMTWH) in order to investigate the potential for producing a novel beverage with functional properties. The increase in the total count of bacteria and yeast suggests that the OMTWH acts as a viable substrate for supporting the proliferation of the microorganisms of the Kombucha symbiotic culture. The fermentation resulted in a reduction in pH and increased total titratable acidity. After fermentation, a statistically significant increase in the vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, B7, and B12 content was observed (p < 0.05). Total phenolics and antioxidant activity of the fermented beverage was significantly enhanced, as assessed by the method of Folin-Ciocalteu and ABTS assay, respectively. Results revealed that OMTWH had a potent inhibitory activity of α-amylase, α-glucosidase, acetylcholinesterase, and butyrylcholinesterase; OMTWH fermented with a kombucha consortium exhibited even higher inhibition. Hence, the process of kombucha fermentation can convert OMTWH into a novel beverage with enhanced functional properties.

Keywords: Sideritis scardica; antioxidant; bioactivities; kombucha; thyme honey.