As kombucha continues to mature as a category, companies like Pure Steeps, which recently acquired Kombucha Wonder Drink, have recognized the increasing importance of backing efficacy claims with strong scientific data and studies.
Sai Chaluvadi, the executive vice president of research and development at Pure Steeps, is interested in how science can help create a better, safer kombucha for consumers. Speaking with BevNET at KombuchaKon 2017 in Long Beach, Calif., Chaluvadi, a food science Ph.D. student at Rutgers University who has published research on kombucha and gut health through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said that the category has matured to a point in which it needs to further integrate science to alleviate lingering concerns over kombucha’s sugar and alcohol content, as well as probiotics.
“It’s an open secret,” Chaluvadi said when asked about the issue of sugars being underreported on kombucha labels. “The challenge is do we use science or do we use regulations to solve this issue?”
In this video interview, Chaluvadi discusses how kombucha makers can address category challenges, the effect of fermentation on probiotic growth in kombucha, and how science will spark further innovation.