General Information - How are kefir grains different to powder starter or store-bought kefir?
How are kefir grains different to powder starter or store-bought kefir grains?
Kefir grains are key to kefir production, and it has been found that the finished product has a different microbiological profile from the grains and therefore cannot be used to inoculate a new batch of milk (Simova et al. 2002). Grains have been shown to possess a dynamic and complex flora which is not conducive to the commercial production of a uniform, stable product; this has prompted groups to try to produce kefir from a mixture of pure cultures (Petersson et al. 1985).
Kefir Starter Culture is created in a laboratory and is a direct-set starter culture. This means that it is a single-use culture. It is meant to be used once, but with the proper care, it may be re-cultured a few times before the culture weakens.
Starter cultures containing freeze-dried lactic acid bacteria and yeasts from kefir grains are now available commercially; some are supplemented with additional microorganisms to impart desirable characteristics in the finished kefir product (Piotr Kolakowski, private communication). It is evident that the final product, as produced from kefir grains, will have a larger number and variety of microorganisms than kefir produced from a mixture of a small number of pure cultures.