· By Elspeth Sargeant
Is Kombucha Halal?
In this blog, we are going to explore if Kombucha is Halal. Some people assume Kombucha is one of the many food and drink products that you can’t consume whilst maintaining a Halal-certified diet.
We are going to delve into what is in Kombucha - the alcohol contents - as well as why it is Halal-friendly.
But first, we are going to get into the nitty-gritty for all of those Kombucha newbies and long-time lovers out there.
Origins and Commonly Asked Questions
Brewing Kombucha would not be possible without a SCOBY! So what is a SCOBY? SCOBY stands for "Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast”. It's the thriving bacteria-laden base that forms in the jar when creating Kombucha.
Just like the drink, the history of Kombucha is full-bodied and rich. Its roots go back to the Far East. One hypothesis is that Kombucha first popped up in ancient China during the Tsin Dynasty, around 221 BCE. You can learn about the history of Kombucha here.
The research and discovery of the health benefits of Kombucha are emerging daily. The most promising benefits that have emerged are promoting digestion and aiding the immune system. Learn more about the health benefits of Kombucha here.
A question that commonly pops up is “Is Kombucha Alcoholic?”. Yes, Kombucha does contain small amounts of alcohol due to it being fermented. The good news is that it's still classed as a non-alcoholic beverage. Commercially brewed Kombucha typically contains less than 0.5% ABV. If you're interested in the alcohol levels in Kombucha, learn more about it here.
If you’re a Kombucha lover, the positive news is that you can drink Kombucha every day. But, we always suggest that you consult with your health professional first. You can read more about the benefits of drinking Kombucha every day here.
Check out this video: Is Kombucha Halal?
From our YouTube channel - The Gut Health Channel
What about the alcohol content?
To be Halal Kombucha must contain trace amounts of alcohol. Small amounts of alcohol can be found in every fermented food. This can range from a ripe banana to soy sauce. As Kombucha is fermented it can contain trace amounts of alcohol. This is because during the fermentation process, the bacteria consume the sugar and one of the byproducts is alcohol.
Despite Kombucha containing trace amounts of alcohol, it is not considered alcoholic. Commercial Kombucha has to fall within <0.5% ABV threshold. However, you may want to be careful when brewing Kombucha at home. At-home brewers do not have access to equipment to measure and make sure that Kombucha is not above <0.5% ABV. Homemade brews can range up to 3% ABV. This is due to the lack of control around temperature and environment.
To be safe, reach out to your local commercial Kombucha brewer and they will be able to inform you regarding their ABV level.
So, how can Kombucha contain trace amounts of Alcohol and still be considered Halal?
As commercially brewed Kombucha is below the <0.5% ABV threshold it is considered Halal by the Halal certification board. This is because this amount of trace alcohol will not make you intoxicated.
If you are worried about guidance on whether to drink Kombucha whilst following a diet that is Halal friendly you should consider consulting with your spiritual advisor.
Let's round this up
In this blog, we have summarised everything you need to know about drinking Kombucha whilst maintaining a Halal-certified. We have scratched the surface of the alcohol contents in Kombucha, as well as how controlling the alcohol content whilst brewing Kombucha at home can be difficult. Make sure to check out our blog on how to make your own Kombucha at home or try out your friendly Halal-certified Kombucha brewer's batches of Booch’.