Does Raw Honey Kill Water Kefir? or good bacteria?

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Does Raw Honey Kill Water Kefir? or good bacteria?

Postby creinosoh on Tue May 29, 2018 10:21 pm

Hello!

I've read that raw honey can kill the water kefir and also, many blogs indicate that you shouldn't even use raw honey for sweeten your milk kefir on a smoothie because the good bacteria will be killed. Nevertheless I have been unable to find any reliable information about that. I tried raw milk on my water kefir and it ferments well, but I wonder if I'm damaging them by using raw honey.

Any thoughts?

Regards
Claudia
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Re: Does Raw Honey Kill Water Kefir? or good bacteria?

Postby dri on Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:17 pm

Having read various articles but no good scientific studies, I decided it was time for my own test. I've been growing water kefir grains in just raw honey-water mix for 2+ weeks. Slower growth than sugar but still growing.

I also took milk-kefir grains that had been fermenting only in water-based solutions for 8 months. For the past month, I've been fermenting that in honey-water. Not only is it still fermenting, the grains are slowly growing again.

So my experiments show no problem with fermenting either water or milk kefir with raw honey.
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Re: Does Raw Honey Kill Water Kefir? or good bacteria?

Postby baerdric on Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:34 am

My understanding from being a beekeeper for many years, is that honey has "an antibacterial effect".

Which means nothing.

Antibiotics are largely specific, either work or don't work, and are antibodies. In contrast, even water has "an antibacterial effect" because it washes away bacteria.

I've been meaning to test this legend and am glad to see someone else has done so too. It should be easy to definitively test.
Currently looking at things and pondering about stuff.

Bill DeWitt
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Re: Does Raw Honey Kill Water Kefir? or good bacteria?

Postby Christopher Weeks on Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:28 am

It's not like no one has studied honey.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23782759
https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.ph ... s_of_Honey
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=an ... i=scholart

Which doesn't tell us anything about its interaction with kefir/tibicos/kombucha or anything. But the antimicrobial properties aren't just urban legend.
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Re: Does Raw Honey Kill Water Kefir? or good bacteria?

Postby dri on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:33 am

Well there are formal studies of honey on milk kefir growth, wich shares a lot of the same bacteria. The paper

PAUCEAN, A., MUDURA, E., JIMBOREAN, M. A., & MAN, S. (2011). The influence of honey addition on microbiological, physicochemical and sensory characteristics of a kefir-type product during shelf-life. Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Agriculture, 68(2).
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf

In any of the studied levels 1%, 2.5%, 4%, the honey addition increased the microbial density of lactococi at all the sampling intervals and probiotic bacteria were present at a high level during the product shelf-life. Honey had no effect on pH and lactic acid levels of the final products. Honey at 2.5% and 4% significantly decreased the syneresis (p<0.01) and increase the kefir’s consistency. The sensory evaluation indicates that 2.5% honey added is the optimum level for the kefir-type product.


And the paper
Fiorda, F. A., de Melo Pereira, G. V., Thomaz-Soccol, V., Rakshit, S. K., & Soccol, C. R. (2016). Evaluation of a potentially probiotic non-dairy beverage developed with honey and kefir grains: Fermentation kinetics and storage study. Food Science and Technology International, 22(8), 732-742.
Found it did not impact production and conclude
"After 35 days of storage, honey kefir beverage maintained
its chemical characteristics and microbial viability as required to be classified as a probiotic product."
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