Probiotic Durian Beer and Bubble Tea with Kriza Calumba

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Kriza Calumba is an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Mindanao who has a research interest in probiotics. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, and completed her Masters at Louisiana State University where she researched non-dairy probiotic options, specifically incorporating durian rind into a probiotic ale.

Join us as we talk about durian beer, Kriza's interest in local food industry and food science communication, and her new probiotic bubble tea business.

About Kriza Calumba

Kriza Calumba is an assistant professor of the Department of Food Science and Chemistry at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She previously received a Fulbright-CHED scholarship, which allowed her to pursue Master’s studies at Louisiana State University, USA. Her Master’s research was on beer with probiotic bacteria immobilised in durian rind powder. With her interest in probiotics, she also recently opened a probiotic bubble tea business in Davao City, Philippines. She is looking forward to communicating food science to more people as well as providing more health-promoting food options to the general public.


Papers authored by Kriza Calumba or mentioned in our conversation.

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[01:00] Kriza’s interest in Food and Nutrition Sciences.
[01:53] Pursuing a career in academia.
[02:18] Kriza’s focus on probiotics and her Masters research.
[03:06] The untapped potential of probiotics.
[03:42] Exploration of non-dairy probiotic options.
[04:35] Kriza’s research using durian rind to develop probiotic beer.
[05:55] Trying her hand at homebrew.
[07:13] Learning that durian rind had a preservative effect on bacteria.
[08:28] The wives’ tale about consumption of durian with alcohol.
[09:18] The unexpected popularity of her research.
[10:24] Kriza’s new probiotic bubble tea venture.
[12:08] How probiotics can reduce sugar levels in bubble tea.
[12:53] Juggling an academic career with a startup.
[14:58] Starting a new business during a pandemic.
[16:28] Kriza’s research into indigenous vegetable consumption.
[18:54] The importance of local food industry related research.
[20:29] The affects of globalisation on local diets.
[21:33] Other regional academic efforts in this area.
[21:53] Supporting local through her own business.
[23:02] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[25:02] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[25:18] “The Purpose Driven Life”.
[26:23] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?
[27:41] Reaching out to Kriza.

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