VANCOUVER - The popular fermented drink kombucha is considered a healthy beverage but the BC Centre for Disease Control is concerned some products may contain higher-than-regulated levels of alcohol.

The centre is working with the BC Institute of Technology, which is testing about 760 samples of the beverage collected from around the Vancouver area, some imported from Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, the United States and from one producer in Australia.

The centre's food safety specialist Lorraine McIntyre says the impetus for the research came partly from concerns that some kombucha products in the Maritimes may contain more alcohol than levels allowed by Health Canada.

The federal regulator requires beverages containing more than 1.1 per cent alcohol by volume to stipulate how much booze is in them, though some provinces have their own label requirements.

McIntyre says the samples were collected from various places including grocery stores, restaurants and farmers' markets and the centre is expected to report its findings at the end of the month.

Alcohol is a normal byproduct of the fermentation process, and she says consumers should know how much is in the products they're buying.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2019.