Scoby Dooby Doo, where are you?
We got some work to do now.
You might be wondering, “is she actually going to write another blog post on dogs?” Hah, close enough, but not today. You’ve guessed it (I hope you did), I’ll be introducing another mystery solver that helps our gut system – SCOBY. Sorry Scooby, Scoby is more important today.
It’s an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It’s just a mixture of bacteria and yeast living in harmony, with each other. At this point, yuck, who would eat or drink bacteria right? But more than half of the older millennial drink it, specifically in a form of tea called ‘Kombucha’.
Scoby has a white, smooth appearance and varies in thickness. It doesn’t move, but it is very slippery to brew as most of the Kombucha is held in it. Scoby is a pellicle, and in simple terms, a thin membrane layer. …A pellicle? Well, a pellicle is created from bacteria called Acetobacter aceti (wow sounds like a superhero) that converts ethanol from the yeast. It breaks down further to acetic and gluconic acid via aerobic respiration.
Just imagine scoby as a sea monkey. It grows and respires.. like a pet. But the best thing about scoby is that it makes a really yummy drink when you add tea and sugar!
The sugars in the tea mixture are used by yeast and converted by acetobacter into cellulose. Over time, it will thicken and the stronger bacteria culture will be manufactured to make Kombucha! So there you go, a super simplified process on how your bottled Kombucha is made.
Credit: Michelle Polacinski
Is Kombucha even good for me?
Plenty of studies showcased the effectiveness of the anti-microbial activity in the Kombucha tea in the gastrointestinal microbial flora of humans. These anti-microbial activities against bacterias such as Helicobacter pylori (the main cause of your stomach pains if you have gastric), E.coli, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens, were proven effective due to the acetic content of Kombucha tea. In simple terms, the more Kombucha you drink, the more acidic your stomach becomes (from acetic acid), the more bacteria it kills.
However, there are many pieces of research contradicting the benefits of Kombucha. It is said that pasteurised Kombucha loses all its probiotics and nutrients. (Yikes.) Nevertheless, if you are keen to try unpasteurised Kombucha, it has to be made and kept clean, to avoid contamination.
To sum it all up, Kombucha is a great drink, not too sweet or not too salty. It might be beneficial for the digestive system, but it depends on the method of processing it. But if you are choosing between a bottle of iced tea or a bottle of Kombucha, it’s safe to say that even Scooby Doo would choose a bottle of Kombucha. (why? very low sugar content because it is used up by the yeast for respiration!)
So there you go, another great ‘tea’ mystery solved.