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Updated by Sinothando Ngubane on Feb 28, 2024
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Traditional European Fermented Beverages and Their Microbial Players

Discover the varied tastes and lengthy history of classic European fermented drinks. Discover the microbiological actors responsible for these unusual beverages, such as kefir and kvass, and their possible health hazards as well as advantages. Join the conversation and share your favorite fermented drink!

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Explore the tangy world of kefir!

Explore the tangy world of kefir!

Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage known for its tangy flavor and creamy texture. Originating from the Caucasus Mountains, kefir is made by fermenting milk with kefir grains, which contain a symbiotic mixture of bacteria and yeasts. This ancient beverage is revered for its probiotic properties and is enjoyed as a refreshing drink or used in smoothies and recipes.

Yeasts from kefir grains: isolation, identification, and probiotic characterization | World Journal of Microbiology a...

Kefir—a traditional beverage whose consumption has been associated with health benefits—is a logical natural product to investigate for new probiotic characterization.

Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them | Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Bio...

In an investigation of the changes in the microflora along the pathway: kefir grains (A)→kefir made from kefir grains (B)→kefir made from kefir as inoculum (C),

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Scientific and Common Name of the Adopted Bacterium:

• Scientific Name: Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
• Common Name: Kefir grains

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Statement of Why This Particular Food Was Selected:

Kefir is selected for its rich cultural heritage and significant health benefits. Its unique fermentation process involving a diverse community of bacteria and yeasts makes it an intriguing subject for exploration.

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Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts

The ability of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to create lactic acid as a metabolic byproduct during fermentation makes them a diversified group of bacteria. They are essential to the fermentation process of kefir, which gives it its flavor, texture, and nutritional value. LAB are well-known for their probiotic qualities, which promote gut health and aid in digestion. Furthermore, they help preserve kefir by fostering an acidic environment that prevents the formation of dangerous germs.

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5. Microbiological risks/hazards associated with Kefir Consumption

5. Microbiological risks/hazards associated with Kefir Consumption

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that has several health advantages and is high in probiotics and good microbes. But there are also some hazards associated with it, especially if contaminated or taken by people with weakened immune systems. Contamination of kefir has several risks, including the potential for infection or sepsis, pain in the digestive tract such as gas and bloating, and the potential for cross-contamination with toxic materials.