Kombucha teas produced by fermenting the 'Manchurian mushroom' are health beverages. The Manchurian mushroom, however, is not a mushroom but rather a poorly defined consortium of yeasts and bacteria. After keeping a Kombucha culture as a 'laboratory mascot' for several years, we have studied it by breaking it up into its component parts and comparing it with two other similarly macerated cultures. Not surprisingly, different Kombucha cultures differ from each other. The number of colony-forming units isolated from macerated Kombucha cultures increased when tea was omitted from the fermentation and decreased when no starter culture was used. Presumed to be beneficial to human health, Kombucha cultures may also make good model systems for the study of biofilms, microbial mats and other complex associations of microorganisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Acetobacter xylinum
- Manchurian mushroom
- Tea fungus