Obesity, the Sugar Tax and a Move Towards Fermentation

November 13, 2017, 8:00 am
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Global obesity is rarely out of the news, and with the sugar tax still firmly on the horizon, it’s always a good time to look closely at the state of sugary drinks on the UK market.

At Real Kombucha, we’re particularly interested in adult-oriented soft drinks, or “what to drink when you’re not drinking”. As anyone who recently took part in Go Sober for October will have realised, the lack of choice for anyone avoiding booze is startling. Your choices are either packed with sugar or diet-related additives, and with a complete lack of sophistication in taste, taking time off from alcohol clearly comes with its own health risks.

As a company making adult-oriented soft drinks, we’re very keen to do something to help. We’re pretty much the only kombucha brand on the UK market that doesn’t add flavours, meaning we keep our sugar content level down to about 2g per 100ml – one of the lowest measures in this country. We only use the highest quality teas, and that’s what gives us our sophisticated, smooth flavour profile. With 48 calories per bottle, packed full of probiotics, we’re a great option for anyone out “soberlising” – probably the only drink in the bar that’ll actually make you healthier.

Our co-founder, Adrian Hodgson, is one of the only food scientists in the UK to have spent lengthy time with kombucha under the microscope. He’s also a passionate campaigner for healthy eating and drinking, and is very concerned about how the soft drinks companies in this country are approaching the so-called sugar tax.

“Traditional soft drinks of today – those made from sugar, sweeteners and flavouring – need to reconsider how they formulate the products they make. We should be moving away from making drinks with such a heavy emphasis on sugar and sweetness. Soft drink brands need to consider the use of alternative methods to reduce the emphasis of sugar in their drinks. This is where the use of fermentation can be used, and it’s on this that we are solely focused at Real Kombucha.”

“Fermentation is a natural process that uses yeast to convert sugar into alcohol, but by using a number of alcohol converting bacteria (known as acetobacter and gluconobacter) the alcohol can be converted into acetic acid. Thus you are able to create a drink that is low in sugar (lower than the soft drink levy of 4.5g /100ml), despite using sugar at the beginning of the process. You might drink Real Kombucha because you love the taste, but you’ll also be reducing your daily sugar intake, which can only be a good thing.”

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