Selection of yeast starter culture strains for the production of marula fruit wines and distillates
Juice of the Sclerocarya birrea subsp, caffra (marula) fruit was fermented by indigenous microflora and different commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains at different temperatures, namely, 15 and 30 °C. Volatile acids, esters, and higher alcohols were quantified in the wine and distillates, and the results were interpreted using a multivariate analysis of variance and an average linkage cluster analysis. Significant differences between 15 and 30 °C and also among yeasts with respect to volatile compounds were observed. Yeast strains VIN7 and FC consistently produced wines and final distillates significantly different from the other strains. A panel of tasters and marula and brandy producers was asked to select wines and distillates that had an acceptable and typical marula "nose". They were also asked to detect the differences among wines and distillates fermented with the same yeast strain at different temperatures.