Kombucha Microbiology: Understanding SCOBY Diversity to Reverse Engineering a SCOBY Webinar

Presented by:

Keisha Rose Harrison


Keisha-Rose Harrison, MS is a PhD candidate of Fermentation Science in the Food Science & Technology Department at Oregon State University (OSU). She received a BA in Cell Biology & Biochemistry from Rice University and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Houston.

Keisha’s love of microbiology and home brewing led her to her current field of study at OSU. She joined Dr. Chris Curtin’s lab to combine her love of Kombucha and Molecular Biology. She aims to develop a categorical system for Kombucha by first assessing the level of microbial diversity that varies from SCOBY to SCOBY. Currently, Keisha is collecting samples from across North America to identify the bacteria and yeast that live within our commercial breweries. She believes to get at the heart of Kombucha, we have to get better acquainted with it first!


During the course of this webinar, we will review the cutting-edge Kombucha genomic research being performed at Oregon State University and its application to the industry. In collaboration with KBI, this group of OSU researchers have been able to characterize the dominant organisms that play a role in Kombucha fermentation through two previous rounds of genomic studies (KBI Diversity Study I and II). Findings revealed defined SCOBY styles among the commercial population and furthermore a characteristic difference in organic acid production. To best serve the industry, OSU has been directing its attention towards enhancing the tractability of the Kombucha SCOBY. Participation in this webinar should lead to a better understanding of the Kombucha SCOBY and the methods being used to evaluate culture stability.

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members &  Study Participants, $40 for Non-Members


July 15th 1:00pm PST


DATE: July 15th, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 90 min presentation & 30 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members & Study Participants, $40 for Non-Members
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY


From May 12- May 15, 2020, kombucha brewers from all over the country came together to lobby their representatives in support of the KOMBUCHA ACT. With many states in full lock down, and Congressional staff working from home, KBI’s bi-annual hill climb looked a little bit different this year than in years passed. Normally, KBI President Hannah Crum and her team fly to Washington, alongside kombucha brewers and advocates. Hours are spent “climbing the hill”- running from building to building, meeting with Congressional Staff, and educating staff and representatives about what the heck kombucha even is.

Since the KOMBUCHA Act was introduced in 2016, KBI has attended over 180 meetings with Senate and Congressional staff, to educate lawmakers about the Kombucha industry and to drum up support for the Act. The COVID crisis threatened to cancel our critically timed May hill climb, but KBI and our brewer advocates got creative. Unable to meet with staff and representatives in person, our team set up 17 virtual meetings over video and online conferencing platforms.

Over the span of just a few days, KBI members, board members, and staff worked together to communicate the stories of how this crisis has impacted our industry and how the Act will provide stability for additional industry expansion. Away from the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill, the meetings took on a more intimate, personal tone. Often, hill climbs are a rushed and hectic scene. Through the magic of the “work from home” hill climb, we were able to promote the KOMBUCHA Act, and the needs of our industry in general, to focused and interested staffers.

We shared some of the unique struggles our industry has faced over the last few months, like loss of product as well as CO2 shortages. The staffers and representatives were extremely kind, generous with their time, and responsive. As a direct result of our meetings, the KOMBUCHA Act picked up four additional co-sponsors.

We all know that kombucha brewers are a passionate, creative, and hardworking group. This May’s virtual hill climb is further proof of that, and showed that when we get creative and put in the work, big things can happen to benefit our industry!



Meetings already set up with:

  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi


If you’d like to join the meetings, or schedule a meeting with your local congressman, please email lgo@kombuchabrewers.org.

In response to COVID-19 pandemic the kombucha industry banded together to bring our personal brand of worldwide healing to those threatened physically, emotionally and economically.

Kombucha Heal-In Results

  • With the help of sponsors, social media partners, and participating brewers, we exceeded our goal of 100,000 bottles of kombucha donated to hospitals and food banks around the world.
  • We also provided financial support to struggling small business brewers through a week-long program matching gift card sales, and…

  • Our “Embody Health” social media campaign and press around our Heal-In initiative helped to raise the profile of the kombucha industry and participating brands and sponsors.

to the sponsors of our gift card matching initiative:

Tier 1:

Gamer Packaging
Gamer Packaging
Rocky Mountain Cultures
Rocky Mountain Cultures
Teatulia Organic Teas
Teatulia Organic Teas

Tier 2:

Stephen Crandall
Deerland Enzymes
Deerland Enzymes
Kombucha Kamp
Kombucha Kamp

Tier 3:

Mannanova Solutions
Mannanova Solutions

Gift Card Matching and Donations

Twenty small business brewers participated in our Gift Card matching program, May 5-11. For each dollar in gift cards they sold that week, a matching dollar from our sponsor pool purchased their kombucha for local donation.

These brewers and MANY others, large and small, far and wide, also reported donations they self-funded and donation initiatives they organized to get free kombucha into the hands of those who needed it.

Check out highlights from brewers’ donations here: 
(Hover over the slider to stay on a slide, or use the L & R arrows to move forward or back)

Brewers participating in the gift card matching program:

Better Kombucha
Coastal Craft Kombucha
Collingwood Kombucha Company
Cross Culture Kombucha
ELIXIR Kombucha
Ensign Beverage
Fed Brew
Idaho Kombucha Co.
Katalyst Kombucha
KTea Kombucha
Ninja Kombucha
Oregonic Tonic Kombucha
Panacea Brewing Company
Pilot Kombucha
Reputation Beverage Co
Revel Kombucha Bar
Rich Elixirs
True Büch Kombucha
Social media & kombucha-donating brewer participants:

Brew Dr.
Cathy’s Kombucha
Diosa Organics
East Coast Kombucha
Health-Ade Kombucha
Revive Kombucha
Rocky Mountain Cultures
Yugen Kombucha

Press Highlights

A number of brewers received local news media and print media coverage for their donation deliveries to hospitals and food banks, including Collingwood Kombucha, ELIXIR Kombucha, KTea, True Büch Kombucha and Yugen Kombucha.

Thank you!

We are truly amazed at the level or response from our brewers, suppliers, and kombucha consumers. It illustrates that love and compassion can be the foundation to embodying our health.

Thank you to all who participated in, and supported, our Kombucha Heal-In initiative.

Questions? Contact Us!

Hannah Crum – president@kombuchabrewers.org

Kim Noble – director@kombuchabrewers.org

108 Coronado Ct.
Suite B
Fort Collins, CO 80525

(970) 226-8649


Rare Combinations LLC contracted Beyers Analytical Brewing Sciences (BABS) to provide an impartial and critical review of their Kombucha Alcohol Detector. BABS is an analytical laboratory based in Fort Collins, Colorado that is dedicated to developing and performing chemical and microbiological measurements for kombucha and beer producers. The analysts at BABS are certified beer chemists with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and are qualified to provide accurate measurements of components within beverage products. BABS provides education for kombucha producers regarding analytical techniques that can be used to monitor their products. The low level of ethanol required for non-alcoholic kombucha necessitates quick, affordable, and reliable testing that can be used to measure levels at or below 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).


BABS compared the Rare Combinations LLC Kombucha Alcohol Detector (KAD) to gas chromatography paired with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) utilizing AOAC 2016.12. Standards were purchased from Cerilliant when applicable. Quality controls were made from grain alcohol and analytically proofed using a calibrated Anton-Paar DMA4500 densitometer that provides accurate density readings to five decimal places (± 0.00001). Five kombucha samples were purchased from a local grocery store and tested by GC-FID and KAD in duplicate to allow comparison. The KAD was operated according to instructions provided by Rare Combinations LLC. The ABV read-out and the raw value read‑out were recorded for each sample measured by the KAD. All sample measurements were performed in duplicate and occurred at room temperature (22-23~C).


The KAD instrument interface provides sample measurement results reported as ABV from a factory-installed calibration curve as well as the ability to make a custom calibration curve using raw data from the detector’s response. We decided to evaluate the accuracy of the instrument using the factory-installed calibration curve as well as using its capability to generate a custom calibration curve for alcohol. The table below compares the results from GC-FID, the KAD factory-installed calibration curve, and the KAD custom calibration curve.

Table 1: Comparison of alcohol values determined by GC-FID and KAD

Sample Measured ABV (%) (GC-FID) Measured ABV (%) (KAD – Factory Curve) Measured ABV (%) (KAD – Custom Curve)
Kombucha 1 0.35 ± 0.01 0.44 ± 0.05 0.32 ± 0.05
Kombucha 2 0.82 ± 0.01 0.79 ± 0.05 0.76 ± 0.05
Kombucha 3 0.60 ± 0.01 0.63 ± 0.05 0.54 ± 0.05
Kombucha 4 0.86 ± 0.01 0.78 ± 0.05 0.76 ± 0.05
Kombucha 5 0.16 ± 0.01 0.25 ± 0.05 0.14 ± 0.05
QC 0.75% 0.74 ± 0.01 0.68 ± 0.05 0.77 ± 0.05



The KAD version that we used can provide comparable results to the GC-FID using either the factory-installed calibration curve or the custom calibration curve. However, we would recommend that each customer who purchases the KAD take the time to build their own calibration curve on site and determine what curve fit works best for them.

Final Recommendations

The KAD can be a powerful tool for spot-checking alcohol concentrations in day-to-day operations. Taking the time to develop an on-site, instrument-specific calibration curve for each KAD can potentially increase accuracy. Any instrument is only as good as the operator running it. Training, accurate standards, and quality control are required to achieve reliable measurements. Proximity to the threshold concentration of 0.5% is also an important consideration. Testing of final product with GC-FID using method AOAC 2016.12 is still recommended to ensure legal compliance.

Disclosure and Disclaimer

BABS received payment from Rare Combinations LLC to perform this instrument review and validation. Rare Combinations LLC wanted a completely impartial review and did not make payment contingent upon any specific or desired outcomes. BABS does not make any guarantees or promises to the efficacy of the KAD for individual users or the reproducibility or robustness of the instrument over time. The writing in this document is the result of a small‑scale study performed by BABS and is the opinion of BABS only. The data, opinions, observations, and anything of the like should not be used as legal guidance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The KAD cannot replace GC-FID as an absolute analytical method.

image of the capitol bldg in washington dc

Our next Capitol Hill Climb to support the KOMBUCHA Act was originally scheduled for May 13th, 2020. However, due to the current limitations of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements, we are taking our efforts online! What does this mean for kombucha brewers across the United States? It’s now easier than ever to attend a lobbying event and exercise your fundamental rights! So fire up your computers, turn on that webcam, and let’s bring our voices (and faces) to Washington!

  • Learn the ropes of lobbying with experienced brewers
  • Have a platform to share how the current economic crisis has impacted your business
  • Advocate for your industry and business
  • Create valuable relationships with lawmakers
  • Receive hands on training from our experienced lobbying team via a one time Zoom meeting- Friday, May 8th 11am PST
  • Network with fellow brewers and activists during our virtual lobbying happy hour on Friday May 15th at 1pm PST, led by KBI president Hannah Crum
  • ** NON KBI MEMBERS also welcome to join us – We fight for your rights too!

More information about the KOMBUCHA Act and our lobbying efforts can be found on our website.  

 If you are available to join us, please contact KBI at lgo@kombuchabrewers.org to receive updated information as it becomes available. 

The registration form to participate can be found here.


 Alison Root, Megan Root, and Eoin Flinn, Booch, Kikuyu, Kenya 

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

November 2016. Late to the party. Started a kombucha company 2 months later in January 2017.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

I fell in love with kombucha, the taste and the increased energy, it wasn’t available on the market here in Kenya, and I knew I would drop off making it at home after a few months – time to employ people!

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Mama Kombucha (another Kenyan brand)

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

Engineer to Salesman to Entrepreneur. These days making beer and soap in addition to kombucha.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

Never give up!

BrewLogix Data-Driven Growth & Opportunity Webinar

Presented by:

Lori Bolin


Lori Bolin is the Chief Strategy Officer for BrewLogix, an exciting “Internet of Things” company leveraging technology and analytics to drive growth for those who brew, self-distribute, or serve kegged beverages. Lori is also currently overseeing the “next gen” development of BreweryDB, the largest and most complete curated database of breweries in the world. In addition to her passionate work in the brewing industry, Ms. Bolin is the owner of a private consulting firm that focuses on creating competitive advantage for small-to-mid-market businesses through strategic innovation. Lori began her educational pursuit earning a four-year scholarship as a piano performance major before graduating Indiana University with a degree in business and telecommunications. She is a Certified Beer Server in the Cicerone® Program and her favorite Kombucha flavor (right now) is Guava!


We know your taprooms are currently shut down but that makes this the perfect time to learn how you can upgrade your operation, whether you brew, self-distribute, or serve kegged kombucha, you could gain a business advantage by seeing inside your kegs…and learning from “the data within”. During this uplifting webinar, learn how kegged beverage environments are expanding and how you can use the analytics within your kegs to grow your top and bottom lines while improving your customer experience!

Learn how a cold draft coffee brewer and self-distributor more than doubled his business in one year using an “Internet of Things” (IoT) solution and consider applying the same concepts to your organization! See how the owner of an on-premise retail environment can view his keg levels from anywhere and quickly analyze his draft performance. It will spark ideas for your tap room! You’ll also have an opportunity to speak into the next generation of BreweryDB to better serve the Kombucha community and capture the data most important to you!

See you there!

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members & Non-Members


April 29th 1:00pm PST


DATE: April 29th, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 90 min presentation & 30 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members & Non-Members
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY



 Aleksandra Tomažin, AYATANA, Lesce, Slovenia


Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

I first came across kombucha in the summer of 2016 when I was studying at Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy in Venice Beach, California. As soon as I got home, kombucha was my first news to my husband. I later discovered that kombucha SCOBY was used to prepare kombucha by my ancestors but seemed to fail being transferred through generations.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

It was kind of a love at first taste 😊 I was always well aware of fermentation benefits to our body, so that was just another reason to begin with our own production.

Back in 2018 me and my husband met a fermentation specialist, who now is our partner. We started the whole process from scratch – research, development, and building a production site – it took us more than a year, and we introduced our AYATANA kombucha to the market at the beginning of the summer of 2019.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

My first and favorite kombucha flavor is from Health-Ade Pomegranate and Cayenne cleanse. Karma’s Grenade boost is also one of my favorite. But my husband goes for Jarr Kombucha’s ginger and GT’S Lemonade.

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

Well, fermented products (we also sell kombucha shots and water kefir products) are one part of the business. We also have a culinary store and are about to launch our innovative and in-house built family plant-based meal planner shortly. I am also a mother to two daughters, both under three years old, so that is another “career” I hold.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

To put it shortly – #cleanguthappybutt.

How to Set up an E-Commerce Site Webinar

Presented by:

Orleatha Smith


Orleatha is a serial entrepreneur with experience in a wide variety of fields with the most recent decade spent in eCommerce creating and growing Better Meal Plans, a digital meal planner and app. Her most recent endeavor is InclusivePay – a financial and merchant services broker that specializes in serving cannabis and other high-risk businesses. She holds an advanced degree in education, a biology teaching credential, and is a certified holistic lifestyle coach. She has also been featured in popular publications such as First For Women Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and has had appearances on various podcasts and television shows.


In these challenging circumstances, kombucha brewers are needing to adapt quickly. Our communities need kombucha now more than ever to build resistance and maintain resilience. KBI is here to support our entire industry as we pivot to technology for novel solutions.

This webinar is designed to help you navigate the many options available for creating an e-commerce platform for pick up, delivery and other distribution options. Join us and our guest Orleatha as we discuss payment processing, pick up options, and give you concrete ways to level up your business during this time.

We grow together!

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members & Non-Members


April 15th 1:00pm PST


DATE: April 15th, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 90 min presentation & 30 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members & Non-Members
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY

Kombucha es un producto que se puede producir de manera segura tanto en casa como de manera comercial. Al ser un alimento tradicional fermentado, sus componentes microbianos y los ácidos orgánicos que produce aseguran que se mantenga bien preservada, incluso sin refrigeración. El papel de los alimentos fermentados precede otros tipos de tecnologías de preservación tales como refrigeración, pasteurización o conservantes químicos.

Colombia tiene una larga historia de utilizar alimentos fermentados para proveer alimentos altos en nutrientes a su población nativa. La cassava, el cacao y el maíz han sido fermentados por medio de procesos tradicionales para crear almidón agrio, chicha, champús, masa agria, guarapo, y muchas cosas más .

La kombucha es originaria de Asia y ha viajado por el mundo muchas veces donde ha disfrutado de popularidad como una bebida casera en China, Japón, Corea, Rusia, Alemania, Italia y Estados Unidos. Fue en los Estados Unidos donde la bebida salió a la venta por primera vez en 1995.

KBI responde a cada una de las preocupaciones del gobierno colombiano para demostrar que la industria comercial de kombucha tiene políticas responsables y proactivas establecidas para asegurar la seguridad de nuestros productos para todos. Sabemos que esta vibrante industria puede ofrecer una alternativa saludable tanto a los refrescos y jugos como a las bebidas energéticas llenas de químicos. Empoderar y educar a los productores de kombucha crea un ambiente donde los consumidores tienen más opciones, ofrece oportunidades económicas para más personas y genera una población más saludable, lo cual la responsabilidad del gobierno.

Kombucha Brewers International Response to INVIMA of Colombia

Kombucha is an incredibly safe product to brew at home as well as commercially. As a traditional fermented food, it’s microbial makeup and the organic acids it produces ensures that it is well preserved even without refrigeration. The role of fermented foods far precedes other types of preservation technology such as refrigeration, pasteurization or chemical preservatives.

Colombia has a long history of using fermented foods to provide nutrient dense foods for their native population. Cassava, cacao and maize have all been fermented through traditional processes to create almidón agrio, chicha, champús, masa agria, guarapo and many more. Kombucha originates in Asia and has traveled the world many times over where it has enjoyed popularity primarily as a home brewed beverage from China, Japan and Korea to Russia, Germany, Italy and the United States. It is in the US where the beverage first became available for purchase in 1995.

KBI addresses each of the concerns laid out by the Colombian government to demonstrate that the commercial kombucha industry has responsible and proactive policies in place to ensure the safety of our products for all people. We know that this vibrant industry can provide a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and juices as well as chemical laden energy drinks. Empowering and educating kombucha producers creates an environment where consumers have more choice, provides economic opportunities to more people and generates a healthier populace which reduces the burden on governments.


¿Cómo garantizar el contenido microbiológico para garantizar la ausencia de patógenos?

Con respecto a la seguridad de producción y el consumo humano, sus miles de años de historia son un testamento, ya que los humanos no consumirían recursos, tiempo o energía produciendo un alimento que los dañara. Varios estudios han demostrado que el nivel de pH y el perfil de ácido orgánico de la kombucha previene la contaminación a manos de patógenos comunes, incluyendo E. coli, salmonela, listeria, entre otros.

Los invitamos a leer nuestra hoja informativa de la industria para encontrar información adicional.

How does one ensure microbiological content to guarantee the non-presence of pathogens?

Regarding safety for production and human consumption, its thousands-year-old history is a testament, as humans would not spend resources, time or energy on producing a food that could harm them. Many research papers have demonstrated that kombucha’s unique pH level and organic acid profile prevents contamination by a host of common pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and many others.

We invite you to read our industry fact sheet for additional information.


¿Cuáles son las mejores prácticas, procesos y regulaciones que la industria utiliza para garantizar la cualidad del SCOBY?

Pueden leer las Mejores Prácticas de KBI aquí → https://kombuchabrewers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Best-Practices-Espa%C3%B1ol.pdf

KBI ha trabajado con muchos gobiernos para garantizar que prácticas seguras sean utilizadas y ayudó de manera directa a los productores brasileños para establecer su Estándar de Identidad, el cual menciona algunas de las especificaciones técnicas fundamentales para la kombucha. KBI hará público su Código de Prácticas y programa de privacidad en verano del 2020.

What are the best Practices, process and controls that the industry uses to guarantee the SCOBY quality?

You may read the KBI Best Practices in Spanish here →


KBI has worked with many governments to ensure safe practices are utilized and directly assisted our Brazilian producers to establish their Standard of Identity, which lists some of the critical technical specifications for kombucha. KBI will be releasing our Code of Practice and seal program in the summer of 2020.


¿Qué características físicas o químicas son analizadas para aprobar la calidad del SCOBY?

Los miembros de KBI reciben entrenamiento para desarrollar planes HACCP para garantizar la seguridad de las prácticas de producción y demostrar un amplio conocimiento de sus procesos. Nuestros puntos críticos de control consisten en niveles de pH controlados en todo momento junto con inspecciones visuales para eliminar los cultivos que presenten moho. Al ser un organismo abundante, cualquier manifestación es visible para el ojo de inmediato ya que el moho que se produce en la kombucha es el mismo que se produce en cualquier otro alimento.

What physical or chemical characteristics are analyzed to approve the quality of the SCOBY?

KBI members receive training in how to develop HACCP plans to ensure safe brewing practices and to demonstrate full knowledge of their processes. Our critical control points consist of proper pH levels maintained at all times along with visual inspections to eliminate cultures that exhibit mold. As a hearty organism, any infestation is immediately apparent to the naked eye, as the mold that occurs on kombucha is the same as mold on any other food product.


Si el SCOBY se echa a perder, ¿qué se puede hacer para reestablecer su calidad?

Los SCOBY normalmente son organismos resistentes, y mientras tengan los nutrientes y los controles ambientales apropiados, son fáciles de cuidar. Los cultivos de moho y todo el líquido deben desecharse de inmediato. Los SCOBY pueden conseguirse por medio de proveedores comerciales o pueden crearse nuevos cultivos al trabajar con los saludables que ya se tienen.

If the SCOBY goes bad, what can be done to reestablish  SCOBY quality?

SCOBYs are generally hardy organisms, and as long as they have proper nutrients and environmental controls, they are easy to care for. Moldy cultures, along with all of the liquid, are to be disposed of immediately. SCOBYs are available for purchase from commercial suppliers, or new cultures may be cultivated by working with existing cultures that are healthy.


¿Hay documentos con las prácticas principales de la industria para detener la fermentación del alcohol?

Como se menciona en Mejores Prácticas, la kombucha cruda almacenada a la temperatura apropiada mantiene el control de calidad por más tiempo. La kombucha tradicional es fermentada, baja en alcohol sin efectos embriagantes que normalmente se consume cruda, es decir no pasteurizada, para proteger los probióticos y los nutrientes vivos y evitar que se dañen.

Que no esté pasteurizada significa que no ha sido tratada con calor ni químicos. Al seguir siendo un producto en crudo, puede experimentar leves cambios en etanol mientras el proceso de fermentación continúa dentro de la botella.

Para detener el proceso, la kombucha cruda debe mantenerse fría en todo momento para mantener la integridad del producto y prevenir la fermentación dentro de la botella.

La temperatura del almacenamiento debe mantenerse a una temperatura de 34-40º F /1.1-4.4ºC para alentar la fermentación de la kombucha a lo largo de la cadena de suministro.

La vida útil de la kombucha se define por la cantidad de tiempo que puede permanecer almacenada en frío antes de que los niveles de etanol sobrepasen el límite legal (que varía dependiendo de la ubicación).

Los productos que dicen ser crudos y poder almacenarse no se reconocen como estables sin evidencia complementaria empírica por parte de un laboratorio de pruebas de terceros para verificar que el nivel de etanol se mantenga dentro del límite legal de su ubicación. Productos de este tipo no existen en el mercado estadounidense ya que la kombucha cruda está sujeta a su refrigeración.

Are there documents with the industry leading practices to stop the alcoholic fermentation.

As outlined in the Best Practices, raw kombucha stored at the appropriate temperatures maintains quality control for extended periods of time. Kombucha is a traditionally fermented, low alcohol, non-intoxicating beverage that is most commonly consumed raw, meaning unpasteurized, to protect the probiotics and nutrients in a living form from being damaged.

Unpasteurized means not subject to pasteurization via heat or chemical means. As a result of remaining a raw product, it can experience slight shifts in ethanol as the fermentation process continues in the bottle.

To arrest that process, raw Kombucha must be kept cold at all times to maintain the integrity of the product and to prevent over fermentation in the bottle.

Cold storage ought to be maintained at 34-40º F /1.1-4.4ºC to slow the fermentation of the Kombucha throughout the supply chain.

Shelf life of Kombucha is determined by how long the product can remain in cold storage before the ethanol level goes above the prescribed legal limit (will vary based on location).

Products that claim to be both shelf-stable and raw are not currently recognized as stable without further evidence vis-a-vis shelf life testing by a third party lab to verify that the ethanol level remains within the legal limit for that location. No such products currently exist in the US marketplace as all raw Kombucha is subject to refrigeration.


¿Hay documentos donde podemos probar que la FDA ha confirmado que la kombucha es legal; que está catalogada como una comida y es segura para consumo humano?

Todos los miembros de KBI en Estados Unidos deben matricular sus instalaciones de acuerdo con la Ley contra el Bioterrorismo del 2002. Hay más de 750 marcas comerciales de kombucha en Estados Unidos nada más. Así que aunque la FDA no tiene una postura oficial en cuanto a la kombucha, claramente está enterada de la industria y lo considera un producto seguro.

Is there documentation to prove the FDA has stated that Kombucha is legal; that is catalogued as a food and save to consume by humans?

All KBI members based in the U.S. are required to enroll their facility in accordance with the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. There are more than 750 commercial kombucha brands in the United States alone. So while the FDA doesn’t have an official stance on kombucha, it is clearly aware of the industry and considers our products safe.


¿Tienen algún documento que pueda ayudarnos en nuestra misión de hacer legal la kombucha en Colombia?

Múltiples estudios discuten los beneficios para los humanos. Aquí hay una reseña de varios estudios sobre este tema:


Are there any toxicological studies that proves that kombucha is safe for human consumption?

Numerous studies discuss its benefits for humans. Here is a review of several studies on this subject:



¿Hay estudios que prueben que mantener el nivel de pH de la kombucha debajo de 3.5 es un método aprovado para evitar los patógenos en la kombucha?

Un conocimiento básico de química puede probar que esto es verdad. Aquí hay algunos estudios adicionales que se pueden revisar:


Are there any studies that proves that maintaining the kombucha ph below 3.5 is an approved method to keep pathogens out of the kombucha?

Simple knowledge of chemistry will prove that to be true. Here are some additional studies for review:



¿Hay documentos que prueben que la kombucha no genera metanol durante el proceso de fermentación?

Ninguno de los estudios sobre la kombucha han mostrado la presencia de metanol. La producción de metanol se relaciona con la cantidad de pectinas en la hierba. El té y el azúcar no contienen pectinas y, por lo tanto, no pueden producir metanol.

Any documents that proves that kombucha does not generate methanol in the fermentation process?

None of the studies on kombucha have shown the presence of methanol. Methanol production is linked to pectin content in the wort. Tea and sugar do not contain pectin and therefore cannot produce methanol.


¿Tienen algún documento que pueda ayudarnos en nuestra misión de hacer legal la kombucha en Colombia?
Any other document that you have that can help us in our quest to make legal kombucha in Colombia?



Entra a la base de datos de investigaciones sobre kombucha → https://research.kombuchabrewers.org/

Access the Kombucha Research Database here to find numerous studies → https://research.kombuchabrewers.org/


ALERTA SANITARIA Dirección de Alimentos y Bebidas Alerta No. 024-2020

Alimentos que se comercializan con la expresión “Kombucha”

Nombre del producto: Alimentos que se comercializan con la expresión “Kombucha”

Registro sanitario: RSAV15I10313/RSA-004946-2017 / RSA-006687-2018 /RSA-005012-2017 / RSA-0007265-2018 / NSA-005392-2018

Fuente de la alerta: Denuncias y acciones de inspección, vigilancia y control (IVC) No. Identificación interno: AA200101

Descripción del caso El Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos (Invima) informa a la comunidad, que conforme a las competencias de inspección, vigilancia y control se han detectado irregularidades en relación con la siguiente declaración en alimentos: Kombucha es una bebida elaborada a partir de té endulzado y fermentado utilizando un cultivo simbiótico de bacterias y levaduras (SCOBY). En el mercado se han encontrado algunas bebidas que utilizan como ingrediente el “SCOBY”. Al cual se le atribuyen diferentes propiedades en salud, según referencias bibliográficas . Cabe anotar que el “SCOBY” es un ingrediente que no ha sido autorizado por el Invima para su uso en alimentos y bebidas. Bogotá, 19 Febrero 2020 Marcas “o.k. kombucha”, “Alino”, “HAPPY”, “La fantástica”, “Kogui kombucha”, “Coordenada 0” y “Yogi”

Por lo anterior el Invima se permite informar a la población en general que los alimentos que se comercializan en Colombia y que contienen la expresión kombucha, presentan la siguiente situación sanitaria:

1. En relación con la autorización para comercializar alimentos a los cuales el Invima les otorgó Registro Sanitario o Notificación Sanitaria, y que están utilizando dentro de su composición el ingrediente “SCOBY” o están haciendo uso de la expresión “Kombucha”, el Invima hace claridad de lo siguiente:

a) Para el Registro Sanitario RSAV15I10313 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té diferentes variedades”, que incluye las marcas “o.k. kombucha”, “alino”, en presentación comercial caja por 6, 12 y 24 unidades de 250, 330, 500 y 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Cohen Leiderman Flora propietaria del establecimiento de comercio o.k. kombucha, mediante acciones de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control se evidenció que el fabricante utiliza “cultivo probiótico de Kombucha”, el cual no está aprobado en el Registro Sanitario, así como el incumplimiento del rotulado y publicidad de la bebida con té variedades, marca kombucha.

b) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-004946-2017 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “HAPPY” en presentación comercial botellas (PET o vidrio) de 120, 180, 200, 250, 320, 350, 500, 750, 1000 y 3780 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Drink With Purpose S.A.S, se evidenció que en el proceso de fabricación del alimento se estaba llevando a cabo fermentación alcohólica obtenida mediante la adición del “SCOBY” como ingrediente y, adicionalmente, el rotulado del alimento hace alusión a la expresión “kombucha”.

c) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-006687-2018 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té”, que incluye la marca “La fantástica” en presentación comercial botellas de 200, 400, 600, 800 y 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es ST Agnes Brewing Company té vivo la fantástica, se evidenció que la actual dirección del fabricante no corresponde con la suministrada ante el Invima al momento de solicitar el Registro Sanitario.

d) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-005012-2017 correspondiente al alimento “Bebida con té verde y negro diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “Kogui kombucha” en presentación comercial de 250 a 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es el establecimiento de comercio Koghi Products, se evidenció que en el proceso de fabricación del alimento se estaba llevando a cabo fermentación alcohólica, no autorizada.

e) El Registro Sanitario RSA-0007265-2018 correspondiente al alimento “bebida a base de agua y té”, que incluye la marca “Coordenada 0” en presentación comercial de frasco de vidrio de 10 hasta 10000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Coordenada 0 SAS, se encuentra suspendido.

f) Para la Notificación Sanitaria NSA-005392-2018 correspondiente al alimento “Infusiones de té diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “Yogi” en presentación comercial bolsas de té y cuyo fabricante es “East West Tea Company” (Estados Unidos) e importado a Colombia por Green Tradings S.A.S., se evidenció que la dirección suministrada ante el Invima por el importador corresponde a un domicilio del cual se desconoce el tipo de actividad comercial allí realizada.

2. Respecto a la vigilancia de la publicidad en diferentes medios, el Invima identificó que en algunas páginas de internet se promocionan alimentos que utilizan la expresión Kombucha, declarando propiedades en salud; preventivas, curativas y/o terapéuticas, lo que conlleva al incumplimiento de la legislación sanitaria vigente (artículos 272 y 274 de la ley 9 de 1979 y la resolución 5109 de 2005 – artículos 4 y 5). Se enlistan algunas de las páginas de internet en donde se ha identificado este tipo de publicidad:

a. https://fitfoodmarket.co/tienda/bebidas-y-tes/happy-kombucha/

b. https://moncielvidasana.com/kombucha-kefir-y-fermentos/132-104-kombucha-la-fantastica210mL.htmL

c. https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.co/MCO-483957130-yogi-tea-kombucha-te-verde-16-ea- _JM?quantity=1#position=10&type=item&tracking_id=fd88e642-a51c-463d-bc5e-dad3c8e721dc

d. https://www.instagram.com/kombuchalafantastica/?hl=es-la

e. https://www.instagram.com/koguikombucha/?hl=es-la

f. https://happykombuchalab.com/

g. https://www.instagram.com/ok_kombucha/

h. https://www.facebook.com/OKKombucha.ca/

i. https://kombuchalafantastica.com/

j. https://www.alivekombucha.co/

k. https://www.instagram.com/bvida.kombucha/?hl=es-la

l. https://www.instagram.com/tevivokombucha/?hl=es-la

m. https://www.instagram.com/guarapakombucha/?hl=es-la

n. https://www.instagram.com/aborigenkombucha/?hl=es-la

o. https://es-la.facebook.com/kombucha0/

De acuerdo con lo descrito anteriormente, el Invima advierte que los productos relacionados no cumplen con la normatividad sanitaria y por lo tanto no están autorizados para su comercialización, razón por la cual, se están adelantando las actuaciones administrativas para verificar las condiciones de los registros sanitarios y las declaraciones de los ingredientes de cada uno de los productos. Medidas para la comunidad en general Considerando lo anterior, tenga en cuenta los siguientes aspectos: 1. Absténgase de adquirir y consumir los alimentos que listen o hagan alusión a las expresiones “Kombucha” o “SCOBY”, u otros que existan en el mercado, tengan o no Registro Sanitario, y que utilicen en su rótulo palabras asociadas a las expresiones anteriormente descritas. 2. Informe de manera inmediata al Invima, o a las Entidades Territoriales de Salud, si tiene conocimiento de lugares donde se elaboren, distribuyan o comercialicen alimentos que listen dentro de sus ingredientes “SCOBY” o que declaren en su denominación la expresión “Kombucha”.

Medidas para secretarías de salud departamentales, distritales y municipales Categoría Especial, I, II y III:

1. Realizar las actividades de inspección, vigilancia y control (IVC) en los establecimientos donde potencialmente puedan comercializarse los alimentos citados, verificando la existencia de productos que declaren las expresiones “SCOBY” y/o “Kombucha” en su rotulado o etiquetado.

2. Durante las actividades de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control (IVC) verificar si existe publicidad de alimentos que incluyan las expresiones “SCOBY” y/o “Kombucha” y su relación con propiedades en salud; preventivas, curativas y/o terapéuticas.

3. Comunicar al Invima los resultados de las acciones de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control (IVC) a los correos alertasalimentos@invima.gov.co y contactoets@invima.gov.co, en caso de evidenciar uno o más de los incumplimientos referidos. Si desea obtener mayor información comuníquese con el Invima a: alertasalimentos@invima.gov.co o al teléfono 294 8700, extensiones 3844 y 3846 – Dirección de Alimentos y Bebidas. Igualmente se podrán realizar peticiones, quejas, reclamos, denuncias o sugerencias: https://www.invima.gov.co/peticiones-quejas-reclamos-y-sugerencias Consultar registros sanitarios: http://consultaregistro.invima.gov.co:8082/Consultas/consultas/consreg_encabcum.jsp En los siguientes enlaces podrá acceder directamente a la información de su interés en la página web del Invima. Realizar peticiones, quejas, reclamos, denuncias o sugerencias Consultar registros sanitarios Realizar reportes en línea de eventos adversos  Farmacovigilancia Reactivovigilancia Tecnovigilancia


HEALTH ALERT Food and Beverage Department Alert No. 024-2020

Foods that are marketed  with the expression “Kombucha”

Product name: Foods that are marketed with the expression “Kombucha”

Sanitary record: RSAV15I10313 / RSA-004946-2017 / RSA- 006687-2018 / RSA-005012-2017 / RSA-0007265-2018 / NSA-005392-2018

Source of alert: Complaints and actions of inspection, surveillance and control (IVC) No. Internal identification: AA200101

Description of the case The National Institute of Food and Drug Surveillance (Invima) informs the community that, according to the inspection, surveillance and control powers, irregularities have been detected in relation to the following food declaration: Kombucha is a beverage made from sweetened and fermented tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY). In the market some drinks have been found that use the “SCOBY” as an ingredient. To which different health properties are attributed, according to bibliographic references. It should be noted that the “SCOBY” is an ingredient that has not been authorized by the Invima for use in food and beverages. Bogotá, February 19, 2020 Marks “ok kombucha”, “Alino”, “HAPPY”, “La fantastic”, “Kogui kombucha”, “Coordinate 0” and “Yogi”

By the above the Invima is allowed to inform the general population that the foods that are sold in Colombia and that contain the expression kombucha, present the following sanitary situation:

1. In relation to the authorization to commercialize foods to which the Invima granted them Sanitary Registry or Sanitary Notification, and that they are using the ingredient “SCOBY” within their composition or are making use of the expression “Kombucha”, the Invima makes clear of the following:

a) For the Sanitary Registry RSAV15I10313 corresponding to the food “drink with different varieties of tea ”, which includes the brands“ ok kombucha ”,“ alino ”, in commercial presentation box for 6, 12 and 24 units of 250, 330, 500 and 1000 milliliters, and whose factory before Cohen Leiderman Flora owns the ok kombucha trade establishment, through Inspection, Surveillance and Control actions it was evidenced that the manufacturer uses “Kombucha probiotic culture”, which is not approved in the Sanitary Registry, as well as the breach of the labeling and advertising of the beverage with tea varieties, Kombucha brand.

b) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-004946-2017 corresponding to the food “drink with tea different varieties”, which includes the brand “HAPPY” in commercial presentation bottles (PET or glass) of 120, 180, 200, 250, 320, 350 , 500, 750, 1000 and 3780 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is Drink With Purpose SAS, it was evidenced that alcoholic fermentation was obtained in the food manufacturing process obtained by adding “SCOBY” as an ingredient and, additionally, the labeling of the food refers to the expression “kombucha”.

c) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-006687-2018 corresponding to the food “drink with tea”, which includes the brand “The fantastic” in commercial presentation bottles of 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is ST Agnes Brewing Company live the fantastic, it was evident that the current address of the manufacturer does not correspond to that supplied before the Invima at the time of requesting the Sanitary Registry.

d) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-005012-2017 corresponding to the food “Drink with green and black tea different varieties”, which includes the brand “Kogui kombucha” in commercial presentation of 250 to 1000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is the establishment of commerce Koghi Products, it was evidenced that in the process of manufacturing the food alcoholic fermentation was taking place, not authorized.

e) The Sanitary Registry RSA-0007265-2018 corresponding to the food “drink based on water and tea”, which includes the brand “Coordinate 0” in commercial presentation of glass jar of 10 up to 10,000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is Coordinate 0 SAS, is suspended.

f) For the Sanitary Notification NSA-005392-2018 corresponding to the food “Tea infusions different varieties”, which includes the brand “Yogi” in commercial presentation of tea bags and whose manufacturer is “East West Tea Company” (United States) and Imported to Colombia by Green Tradings SAS, it was evidenced that the address supplied to the Invima by the importer corresponds to a domicile whose type of commercial activity is unknown.

2. Regarding the surveillance of advertising in different media, Invima identified that in some websites, foods that use the expression Kombucha are promoted, declaring health properties; preventive, curative and / or therapeutic, which leads to non-compliance with current health legislation (articles 272 and 274 of law 9 of 1979 and resolution 5109 of 2005 – articles 4 and 5). Some of the websites where this type of advertising has been identified are listed:

a. https://fitfoodmarket.co/tienda/bebidas-y-tes/happy-kombucha/

b. https://moncielvidasana.com/kombucha-kefir-y-fermentos/132-104-kombucha-la-fantastica210mL.htmL

c. https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.co/MCO-483957130-yogi-tea-kombucha-te-verde-16-ea- _JM? quantity = 1 # position = 10 & type = item & tracking_id = fd88e642-a51c-463d-bc5e- dad3c8e721dc

d. https://www.instagram.com/kombuchalafantastica/?hl=en-la

e. https://www.instagram.com/koguikombucha/?hl=en-la

f. https://happykombuchalab.com/

g. https://www.instagram.com/ok_kombucha/

h. https://www.facebook.com/OKKombucha.ca/

i. https://kombuchalafantastica.com/

j. https://www.alivekombucha.co/

k. https://www.instagram.com/bvida.kombucha/?hl=en-la

l. https://www.instagram.com/tevivokombucha/?hl=en-la

m. https://www.instagram.com/guarapakombucha/?hl=en-la

n. https://www.instagram.com/aborigenkombucha/?hl=en-la

or. https://es-la.facebook.com/kombucha0/

As described above, Invima warns that the related products do not comply with sanitary regulations and therefore are not authorized for marketing, which is why, administrative actions are being carried out to verify the conditions of the sanitary records and the declarations of the ingredients of each of the products.

Measures for the community in general considering the above, consider the following aspects:

1. Refrain from acquiring and consuming the foods you listen to or make reference to the expressions “Kombucha” or “SCOBY”, or others that exist in the market, whether or not they have a Sanitary Registry, and that use words associated with the expressions described above on their label.

2. Immediately inform Invima, or the Territorial Health Entities, if you are aware of places where food is prepared, distributed or marketed within the “SCOBY” ingredients or that declares the expression “Kombucha” in its name.

Measures for departmental, district and municipal health secretariats Special Category, I, II and III:

1. Carry out inspection, surveillance and control (IVC) activities in establishments where the aforementioned foods can potentially be marketed, verifying the existence of products that declare the expressions “SCOBY” and / or “Kombucha” in their labeling or labeling.

2. During the Inspection, Surveillance and Control (IVC) activities, verify whether there is food advertising that includes the expressions “SCOBY” and / or “Kombucha” and its relation to health properties; preventive, curative and / or therapeutic.

3. Communicate to Invima the results of the Inspection, Surveillance and Control (IVC) actions to the emails alertsalimentos@invima.gov.co and contactoets@invima.gov.co, in case of evidencing one or more of the aforementioned breaches. If you would like more information, please contact the Invima at: alertsalimentos@invima.gov.co or by phone 294 8700, extensions 3844 and 3846 – Food and Beverage Department. Likewise, requests, complaints, claims, complaints or suggestions may be made: https://www.invima.gov.co/pecionales-quejas-reclamos-y-sugerencia Consult health records: http://consultaregistro.invima.gov.co : 8082 / Queries / consultations / consreg_encabcum.jsp In the following links you can directly access the information of your interest on the Invima website. Make requests, complaints, claims, complaints or suggestions Consult health records Make online reports of adverse events  Pharmacovigilance Reagent Surveillance Tecnovigilancia