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Kefirna zrnca (srca) mliječnog kefira - Milk kefir grains (hearts)

Updated: Jul 20, 2019


Životna energija

Kefirna zrnca su zaista životna energija domaćeg kefira. U svojoj knjizi From Kefir, With Love: Irreverrent Guide to Making Kefir i Healing Your Gut Naturaly, Whitney Wilson naglašava da bi ispravniji naziv za kefirna zrnca bio kefira srca.

Apsolutno! Bez kefirnih srca nema kefira. Mnoge namirnice koje nastaju procesom fermentacije (jogurt, kiselo tijesto, kombucha) trebaju starter kulturu koja će potaknuti proces fermentacije, a kefir u ovom slučaju nije iznimka. Startna kultura kefira predstavlja jedinstvenu mikrobnu zajednicu koja se sastoji od bakterija, kvasaca, a ponekad i plijesni koje stvaraju složenu simbiotičku zajednicu - kefirna zrnca. Složenost njihovih fizičkih i mikrobnih struktura razlog je zašto su kefirna zrnca još uvijek potpuno zagonetka. Prema nedavnim istraživanjima, postoji više od 50 mikrobnih vrsta povezanih s zrnima kefira.



Zrnca su bezglutenske granule polisaharida (šećerne strukture), što im daje čvrstu, ali spužvastu teksturu, poput gumenih nonbona. Unutar te strukture šećera živi kolonija zdravih bakterija i kvasaca. Kada se kefirna zrnca dodaju u mlijeko, ona počinju cirkulirati te bakterije i kvasce u mlijeku, što pokreće proces fermentacije.



S / M / L

Neka zrnca su mala poput veličine riže, neka su veličine lješnjaka, dok su neka čak i duguljasta. Mala zrnca su uglavnom nova koja će rasti u veličini. Kada su zrnca zdrava trebala bi se udvostručiti u veličini svaka dva tjedna - ali to je više općenito pravilo. Kada vaša zrnca postanu prevelika, što ubrzava fermentaciju kefira, vrijeme je da dio zrnaca poklonite ili ih jednostavno pojedite u smoothieu ili chia pudingu.


Pokaži mi tvoja, ja ću ti pokazati moja

Kefirna zrnca svakoga od nas (koji radimo domaći kefir) se razlikuju u dijelu bakterija što čini zanimljivu karakteristiku zrnaca. Budući da je svako kefirno zrno samostalna kolonija koje se prenosilo od domaćinstva do domaćinstva, različita zrnca su se razvijala na različite načine. Obično ih se naziva prema mjestu gdje su smještena (Brazilska, Australska,...), ali karakteristike svih vrsta ovise o njihovom zemljopisnom podrijetlu, klimi i kulturnim razlikama. Njihov mikrobni sastav uvijek će biti jedinstven.


Iznenadila sam se kada mi je prijateljica rekla da ima zrnca koje rade slađi kefir. Do tada sam smatrala da su sva zrnca ista i da stvaraju isti kefir. Naravno da sam morala imati i ta "slatka" zrnca i na moje veliko iznenađenje, njezina zrnca doista proizvode slađi kefir (za razliku od mojih). Odlučila sam zadržati obje vrste zrnaca i svaka od njih ima vlastitu Kefirko posudicu za izradu domaćeg kefira.

Zato, brinite se za svoja kefirna srca i uživajte u domaćem kefiru! :)


Izvori

Knjiga - From kefir with love

Chemical and microbiological characteristics of kefir grains and their fermented dairy products: A review

Microbiota of kefir grains



Milk kefir grains (hearts)

The force within

Kefir grains are the life force of homemade kefir. In her book, From Kefir, With Love: An Irreverent Guide to Making Kefir and Healing Your Gut Naturally, Whitney Wilson emphasizes that kefir grains should be called kefir hearts.

Absolutely! Without kefir hearts there is no kefir.


Many cultured foods (yogurt, sourdough, kombucha) need a starter culture that will trigger the fermentation process and kefir is no different. A kefir starter culture represents a unique microbial community consisting of bacteria, yeasts, and sometimes moulds creating a complex symbiotic community - kefir grains. The complexity of their physical and microbial structures is the reason why kefir grains are still a mystery. According to recent studies, there are over 50 microbial species associated with kefir grains.

Kefir grains are gluten free granules of polysaccharides (sugar structures), which gives them a firm, but spongy texture, kind of like a gummy bear. Inside this sugar structure is where the colony of healthy bacteria and yeast live. When the kefir grains are placed into milk, they start circulating these bacteria and yeast throughout the milk, which kick-starts the fermentation process.



S / M / L

Some grains are small like the size of rice, some are large, marble-sized, and some are even long and stringy. The small ones are generally new grains that will grow in size. When they are healthy and growing, kefir grains should double in size about every two weeks - but this is more of a general rule. When your grains grow too big, making your kefir ferment too quickly, it's time to give some of them to your friends or you can eat these extra grains.


Show me yours and I'll show you mine

One really great characteristic of kefir grains is that every person's grains are a little different regarding the bacteria inside the kefir grain. Since each is an independent colony living on its own and has spread from home to home across the world, different grains have evolved in different ways. People usually refer to them by their location (Brazilian, Australian), but the characteristics of all varieties depend on their geographic origin, climate and cultural differences. Their microbial composition is always going to be unique.


I was surprised when my friend told me that she has grains that make kefir that tastes sweeter. I thought that all grains were the same and make the same tasting kefir. I obtained some "sweet" grains from her and, to my great surprise, her grains really do produce sweeter kefir than mine. I decided to keep both types of grains and each of them has its own Kefirko Kefir maker.

So, take care of your kefir hearts, and enjoy your homemade kefir! :)


Source:

Book - From kefir with love

Chemical and microbiological characteristics of kefir grains and their fermented dairy products: A review

Microbiota of kefir grains

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