Research deputy at RIFST, Dr. Abolfazl Pahlavanloo, announced that “ The production Kambucha functional drink using native microorganisms intending to prevent some diseases and promoting public health was done by the researchers of the Department of Food Biotechnology”.
Kambucha drink is a fermented beverage resulting from the coexistence of some beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Containing various compounds coming from bacterial activity as well as its beneficial fungi, Kambucha drink has a high nutritional value and a special place as a nutraceutical.
Speaking about the advantages and specific application of Kambucha starter in various industries, he said” Acetic acid bacteria, which are one of the most important microbial starters in Kambucha, cause the production of bacterial cellulose, a cellulose compound being frequently used due to its unique characteristics in various industries including food, cosmetics and textile.
Dr. Pahlavanloo added " Kambucha starters can be used in other industries, including the bakery and vinegar production.
He added "Nowadays, the high consumption of industrial beverages endangers the public health, the replacement of natural beverages with high nutritional value and health effects was on the agenda of the research activities of RIFST."
"Microbial starters are useful microorganisms that are used consciously, in a controlled manner, in the production of some food products. As these microorganisms start fermenting, they are known as starters," said Dr. Mahboubeh Sarabi Jamab, the supervisor of the research project. She added “Among the products that starters are used to prepare are bread, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fermented meat products such as fermented sausages, fermented pickles and sauerkraut and fermented beverages such as Kambucha and kefir.
She remarked that the advantage of this research-applied project is the use of wastes from sugar factories and rice mills for the first time in the country and the world. Dr. Sarabi added since the waste from food factories contains a lot of sugary compounds, especially sucrose, it can reduce the cost of production significantly, and hence its price in the market. In addition, due to the consumption of waste, not only the environmental problems are prevented, but also added value products are produced in the industry.
This faculty member of Food biotechnology speaking about the effects of this drink on human health said “blood detoxification, lowering cholesterol, reducing fat deposition in the walls of arteries and cells, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammatory problems, improving liver function, regulating intestinal microbial flora, stimulating the endocrine system, improving defiance system against cancer , antibiotic properties against harmful microorganisms, improving the immune system and stimulating interferon production, reducing stress and nervous disorders and insomnia are the advantages of such drink.
Dr. Sarabi remarking on the need to pay attention to the production and formulation of this functional drink stated” the drink can compete with other counterpart drinks available in the market in terms of marketing and optimizing taste as well as applying waste from other production units (such as waste from rock candy producing factories are used as a source of sugar supply or rice bran as a source of nitrogen supply), which gives this product a special economic importance.
She emphasized that " In addition to drinks made from Kambucha, its Scooby itself can be offered as a commercial product, especially for the production of home-made beverages."
Dr. Sarabi continued: "Today, Scooby Kambucha, which is produced with certain beneficial microorganisms, is available to people as a commercial product in stores so that they can prepare and consume this useful drink at home." However, such a product has not been commercially available in Iran so far, and therefore the results of this project could be a step towards the commercialization of Scooby Kambucha production.
She also said that at present, Kambucha beverage companies in Iran use imported Kambucha starters, which may lead to outflow of foreign currency form the country. Consequently, the outcomes of research project entitled “Optimization of Kambucha beverage production process and investigation of the effect of rock candy and rice bran production wastes on Scooby production efficiency
will be a step to prevent importing of such starters.
It is worth mentioning that this achievement, which has been made with the investment of the private sector and implemented by the researchers of the Department of Food Biotechnology.