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What is a Kombucha Scoby?

A SCOBY, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” is an ingredient used in the fermentation and production of kombucha.

Fermentation is a chemical process in which carbohydrates like sugar or starch turn into alcohol or acid. 

The appearance of the SCOBY can vary, but it’s typically dense, round, rubbery and opaque with a mild, vinegar-like smell.

Look out for mold or a strong cheese-like odor, which may indicate that the SCOBY is decaying and needs to be discarded.

The dish-like structure of the SCOBY is comprised mostly of a type of insoluble fiber known as cellulose.

It also hosts a variety of yeast and bacteria species that aid the fermentation process.

Other fermented foods and beverages — such as kefir, sourdough bread and ginger beer — require similar symbiotic cultures.