Water Kefir: Origin, Properties, and Benefits

Aseptic fruit purees

For decades, water kefir has conquered the market of healthy beverages, especially in North America. It has grown in popularity thanks to its health benefits and exquisite taste. But do you know how to produce this refreshing elixir that has captivated so many people? Join us on this tour of its production process!

History of Water Kefir

Water kefir, also known as tibicos, is a fermented product rich in various health-promoting microorganisms, including valuable probiotics. The best part is that it is not only refreshing, but also delicious and is easier to prepare than you think.

This is one of those non-alcoholic beverages that has different stories surrounding its origin. Speculation about the origin of kefir water grains points mainly to Mexico, where it is believed that the culture of tibicos was formed in the stalks of the Opuntia cactus. There are also accounts suggesting its origin or use in Tibet, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Crimean Peninsula (Ajmera, 2023).

Production of Water Kefir

The kefir production process combines science with craftsmanship. It begins with obtaining the kefir grains, a symbiotic combination of bacteria and yeasts that will ferment the base liquid. These grains are added to a medium of water and sugar. It is possible to mix them with seasonal fruits for additional flavor and nutrients.

After adding the ingredients, the liquid must sit in an airtight container at room temperature for approximately 24-48 hours. During this time, the bacteria and yeasts in the kefir grains ferment the sugars present in the liquid. This way,

they transform it into lactic acid and ethanol. The result is a slightly effervescent soft drink with an acidic touch.

Once fermentation is complete, the next step is to remove the kefir grains from the liquid, and then filter the liquid to remove any solid residue. Finally, it is essential to bottle the resulting liquid for immediate consumption or to store it in the refrigerator for later enjoyment.

Kefir: Carbonated Beverage?

It is important to clarify that Water Kefir does not fall into the category of carbonated beverages, like kombucha. The former is made by fermenting kefir grains in sugar water. On the other hand, with kombucha, it is a must to ferment sweetened tea with a colony of bacteria and yeasts called SCOBY (Víver Kombucha, n.d.). The benefits of kombucha are similar to those of kefir: both beverages are probiotic and benefit digestive health.

Marketing of this Kefir

In 2020, the value of the global kefir market was approximately $1,627.8 million. By 2028, its projected market size is going to be $2,475.4 million, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% from 2021 to 2028 (Allied Market Research, 2021).

This boom is thanks to the growing concern for health and wellness. This beverage, which is natural and probiotic, is becoming popular among consumers who prefer functional products. Its versatility allows for infusions with a variety of flavors, which broadens its appeal. Demand for plant-based options is also driving its growth (Industry News and Developments, 2024)

Experiment with your own Beverages

Now that you know the ins and outs of Water Kefir, you can experiment with making this healthy refreshment. Visit our website to discover the products you can use to give your beverages a unique twist.

 

 

Referencias bibliográficas

Ajmera, R. (2023, 23 de julio). What Is Water Kefir? Benefits, Uses and Recipe Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/water-kefir#bottom-line

Allied Market Research. (2021). Kefir Market Size, Share, Competitive        Landscape and Trend Analysis Report by Nature, Product type,            Application and Source: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2021-2028. https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/kefir-market

Industry News and Developments. (2024, 2 de abril). Water Kefir Market Size,      Trends and Scope: Navigating Share and Scope Trends for 2024-2031    LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/water-kefir-market-size-trends-         scope-navigating-9eryc/

Revolution Fermentation. (s. f.). 5 Scientific Benefits of Water Kefir. https://revolutionfermentation.com/en/blogs/water-kefir/5-scientific-benefits-of-water-kefir/

Víver Kombucha. (s. f.). Kombucha o kéfir: ¿son iguales todas las bebidas fermentadas? https://viverkombucha.com/kombucha-o-kefir-son-iguales-todas-las-bebidas-fermentadas/

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