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Microorganisms of Kefir

Composition of Kefir

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Microorganisms of Kefir



Kefir can only be made from kefir grains and mother cultures prepared from grains.

The grains contain a relatively stable and specific balance of microorganisms which exist in a complex symbiotic relationship. Kefir grains looks like cauliflowers or small coral reefs since lactic acid bacteria and yeast are curdled with polysaccharide with viscous property (Figure). Kefir grains continue to grow with forming a lump of its diameter of 3 to 30mm when fresh milk is regularly supplied.

Kefir grains are clusters of microorganisms held together by a matrix of polysaccharides. A various species of microorganisms have been isolated and identified from kefir grains. Such species are among genus groups; Lactobacilli, Streptococci, Lactococci, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter and Yeasts. The bacteria and yeast component share a symbiotic relationship. They share their by-products as an energy and growth-stimulating source and work together to produce health benefit products.

The grain is usually composed of a complex of approximately 13% protein, 24% polysaccharide, and microorganisms by dry weight basis. The principal polysaccharide is a water-soluble substance known as kefiran which produced from homofermentative Lactobacillus species such as L. kefiranofaciens and L. kefir. With an electron microscope, a lump of lactic acid bacteria and yeast can be observed with polysaccharide in a kefir grain (Figure). The key lactic acid bacteria include Lactobacillus genus L. brevis, L. kefir, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. kefiranofaciens, and L. lactis as well as Leuconostoc genus L. mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides, L. mesenteroides subsp.dextranicum, L. mesenteroides subsp. cremoris, and L. lactis. Yeast is another type of microorganisms contained in Kefir. During a fermentation process, yeasts produce useful materials such as amino acid, nucleic acid, and peptide. It is known that in Kefir, there are such kinds of yeasts as Saccharomyces kefir, Torula kefir, Candida kefir, Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus.

Kefir Grain
<Structure of kefir grain>                                  Electron microscope of kefir grain


Species most frequently foun


Obligate heterofermentative: Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus kefir
Homofermentative: Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum,
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactobacillus fermentum


Lactococcus lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp.cremoris


Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. Dextranicum, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris, Leuconostoc lactis


Streptococcus thermophilus, Streptococcus lactis


Non-lactose fermenting yeasts: Sacharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyce lactis
Lactose fermenting yeasts: Candida kefir, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus, Kluyveromyces marxianus var. lactis

Microorganisms occuring in kefir

Lactic acid bacteria

Lactic acid bacteria

Lactic acid bacteria

Lactic acid bacteria



Kefir, Kefir Grain, Kefir Starter, Kefiran, Lactic Acid Bacteria | DMJ Biotech

DMJ Biotech is developing kefir with a variety of kefir grain, kefir starter and kefiran. Kefir, a fermented milk product, is our main product to taking modern humans well-being into account We are specializing in fermented milk, lactic acid bacteria, fermented milk product, kefir powder, kefir grains and caucasian kefir. DMJ Biotech has gained valuable experience in manufacturing high quality products.