The determination of anions and metals in kombucha using ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Monesha Ann Harris (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Arthur Salido

Abstract: Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed since the time of the Tsin Dynasty inChina.1 It is produced from the modification of sweetened tea by a symbiotic culture of bacteriaand yeast. The culture is called a SCOBY and it initiates several transformative chemicalprocesses in sweetened tea that produces ethanol, organic acids, and acetic acid. The purpose ofthis research project was to develop quality analysis and control methods for a regionalkombucha manufacturer. Inorganic and organic ions and metals were determined in finishedkombucha, source materials, commercially available teas, and competitor beverages. Sampletreatment assays and instrument methods were developed for these compounds. IonChromatography (IC) was used to determine organic and inorganic anions while InductivelyCoupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) was used to determine metals. Anionconcentrations of acetate, chloride, nitrate, phosphate, and sulfate varied between eachkombucha flavor. This is likely due to different additives, such as; fruit juice, spices, andextracts. Acetate was found in the highest concentration, which is to be expected because aceticacid is a major by-product of sweet-tea fermentation. Analyses showed that the concentrations ofaluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and sodium were relatively consistent across 10 different kombucha flavors. Concentrations in the kombucha flavors were similar toconcentrations in the competitor beverages and brewed tea samples. In general, calcium,magnesium, and sodium were the most prevalent metals found in the 10 kombucha flavors.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Kombucha tea -- Analysis
Anions -- Analysis
Metals -- Analysis
Fermented beverages -- Analysis

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