A comparison of kombucha SCOBY bacterial cellulose purification methods

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Kombucha SCOBY pellicle formed as a waste product in the kombucha tea fermentation industry can be used as a potential source for bacterial cellulose. We have compared four simple, scalable purification methods for the purification of this jelly like cellulosic matrix containing bacteria, yeast cells, proteins and polyphenols as impurities. The method using two successive 1.0 M NaOH washings at 90 °C, followed by the treatment with 1.5% (w/w) aq. NaOCl for 2 h, was the most effective method and gave the purified cellulose sample with the highest leucometer whiteness value of 81.4 ± 4.8. The purified cellulose samples were analyzed using FT-IR, TGA, SEM, EDX, X-ray and water absorption at room temperature.

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