Tea Fungus

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tea Fungus

 

(also Japanese fungus), a thick layered slimy film that forms on the surface of a sugared liquid. The film consists of a culture of two symbiotic microorganisms, the yeast fungus Schizosaccharomycodes ludwigii and a bacterium (usually Acetobacter xylinum). The fungus ferments the sugar and forms alcohol and carbonic acid, and the bacteria oxidize the alcohol into acetic acid. The liquid (usually a 4–6 percent solution of sugar in weak tea) acquires a pleasantly tart taste and turns into a slightly carbonated beverage known as tea kvass. Some data have shown that tea fungus has antibiotic properties and contains several vitamins.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.