Traditional kombucha is a fermented black tea extract and sugar. Sweetened black tea (10% w/v) and wheatgrass juice (WGJ) were mixed in various ratios and used as fermentation substrate for enhancing phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity. Starter, comprising of yeast (Dekkera bruxellensis) and acetic acid bacteria (Gluconacetobacter rhaeticus and Gluconobacter roseus), was inoculated at 20% (v/v), and fermented statically at 29 ± 1°C for 12 days. The results showed that the total phenolic and flavonoid contents and antioxidant activity of the modified kombucha were higher than those of traditional preparations. All WGJ-blended kombucha preparations were characterized as having higher concentrations of various phenolic compounds such as gallic acid, catechin, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, rutin, and chlorogenic acid as compared to traditional ones. Addition of WGJ resulted in the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging ability of kombucha being > 90%, while the oxygen radical absorbance capacity increased from 5.0 μmol trolox equivalents/mL to 12.8 μmol trolox equivalents/mL as the ratio of WGJ increased from 0% to 67% (v/v). The highest antioxidant activity was obtained using a 1:1 (v/v) black tea decoction to WGJ ratio and 3 days of fermentation, producing various types of phenolic acids. These results suggest that intake of fermented black tea enhanced with wheatgrass juice is advantageous over traditional kombucha formulas in terms of providing various complementary phenolics and might have more potential to reduce oxidative stress. © 2015, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

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