What are Milk Kefir Grains?

Milk kefir grains are a combination of live bacteria and yeasts that exist in a symbiotic matrix on a surface of a complex polysaccharide with a casein core. The make-up of kefir grains can vary depending on the culturing location and culturing conditions. This means the community of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts can be highly variable in batches of kefir cultured in different places by different people.

The following is a list of bacteria and yeast strains found to comprise kefir grains from different regions through 2 different scientific studies.* The strains listed may include numerous subspecies and variants.

BACTERIA STRAINS COMMON TO MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus brevis

Lactobacillus casei

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis

Lactobacillus helveticus

Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens

Lactobacillus kefiri

Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei

Lactobacillus plantarum

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus sake

Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

Lactococcus lactis

Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris

Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum

Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides

Pseudomonas

Pseudomonas fluorescens

Pseudomonas putida

Streptococcus thermophilus 

YEAST STRAINS COMMON TO MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Candida humilis

Kazachstania unispora

Kazachstania exigua

Kluyveromyces siamensis

Kluyveromyces lactis

Kluyveromyces marxianus

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Saccharomyces martiniae

Saccharomyces unisporus

 

Please note that this list is for general informational purposes only. Cultures for Health does not test individual batches of milk kefir grains for yeast and bacteria content; therefore we cannot make any guarantees as to the exact probiotic makeup of our milk kefir grains.

Bacteria in Powdered Kefir Starter Cultures

If you are making kefir using a powdered kefir starter culture, you can find more information on the cultures' composition on the corresponding product pages.

View Product Pages: Cultures for Health Kefir Starter Culture | Body Ecology Kefir Starter Culture