Composition and action
Within a culture, anaerobic ethanol fermentation (by yeast), anaerobic organic acid fermentation (by bacteria), and aerobic ethanol oxidation to acetate (by bacteria) can all take place concurrently along an oxygen gradient.
A gelatinous, cellulose-based biofilm called a pellicle forms at the air-liquid interface and is also sometimes referred to as a "scoby". Either samples of this pellicle or unpasteurized kombucha can be used similarly to mother of vinegar to begin fermentation in pasteurized sweet tea.
Scoby cultures used in beverage production can produce a pancake-sized dish-like structure that looks somewhat like the top of a mushroom, hence its nickname "mushroom". It often forms in vinegar in jars of pickled foods.
Use in food production
Foods and beverages which require a similar "symbiotic culture" in their production include:
- Ginger beer
- Jun, a drink similar to kombucha
- Sourdough bread uses starters based on wild yeasts.
- Vinegar, the production of which requires a mother of vinegar.
Use in clothing production
- "The Fermentation Revival". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Definition of KOMBUCHA". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
- Mitchell-Whittington, Amy. "QUT and State Library leading the way in 'vegan leather'". BrisbaneTimes.com.au. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Program entitled "The Fermentation Revival" on BBC News.
- N. Padilla "do it yourself article in The Harvard Crimson.