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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Published: 31 May 2018

Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) honours student Nina Rosenzweig is determining the best ‘grain’ to milk ratio for commercial production of kefir dairy products, in collaboration with interested dairy companies in Tasmania.

“Kefir grain is a microbiological culture and, when submerged in milk, it causes the milk to ferment. It is different to other probiotic products, like yoghurt, because of its large number of diverse bacteria and yeasts, making it more easily digested,” Associate Professor Ross said,” Ms Rosenzweig said.

Ms Rosenzweig has been working with commercial Tasmanian dairies to determine the best way to make kefir in the factory.

“I have tested numerous batches of kefir, and through these preliminary studies, I’ve confirmed a method that ensures the consistent quality needed for a traditional style kefir drink that can be sold commercially and lasts in the fridge for up to seven days,” she said.

A key industry partner for Ms Rosenzweig’s research project is Westhaven Dairy in Launceston.

“Kefir has been common in Eastern Europe for a long time, and it’s exciting to be developing Tasmanian kefir products in demand for our present-day lifestyle,” Director of Westhaven Dairy Jonty Barnett said.”

Agrifood development company RDS Partners is the major funder of this research project. Along with Westhaven Dairy, other collaborators on this study are Leap Farm, Eden Foods, Hindmarsh Valley Dairy and FermenTasmania.