Microbial fermentation is utilized in the production of a variety of foods that people enjoy daily. Commonly consumed fermentation products include bread, beer, wine, sauerkraut, yogurt, cheese, vinegar and the recently trendy Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that uses a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to produce its unique flavor. During the fermentation product, both vinegar and carbon dioxide are generated by the organisms in the SCOBY. The flavor can depend on many factors, including the tea used, fruit or flavoring chosen, and the organisms in the SCOBY. The length of fermentation can also impact the final product. In our class, students chose the fruits and flavoring they wanted to add to their kombucha tea, left it for two weeks to ferment and then determined if the final product tasted like they expected it would.
Kombucha tea after the first fermentation, before the flavors are added
Student bottles after the second fermentation