Stress, fermentation performance and aroma production by yeast

Fairbairn, Samantha (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Yeast strains contend with numerous stresses during winemaking. An inability to perceive and initiate the physiological changes needed to adapt to stress, has been linked to slow or incomplete (residual sugar > 4 g/L) fermentations. Wine yeast strains differ in genotype; this is manifested as differences in their stress tolerance, and fermentation performance. The first goal of this study was to evaluate how the initial sugar (200 or 240 g/L) and nitrogen (50, 100, 250, or 400 mg/L) content, and the fermentation temperature (15°C or 20°C) affected the fermentation performance of 17 commercial wine yeast strains. Fermentation performance was evaluated based on the fermentation kinetics (lag phase, maximum fermentation rate and total weight loss by CO2 evolution), residual sugar content and yeast dry weight. The results demonstrate that the fermentation performances of commercial yeast cultures are significantly and differently affected by initial nitrogen and sugar levels, as well as the fermentation temperature. Additionally, excess nitrogen had a negative impact on the fermentation kinetics and sugar consumption. Nitrogen deficiency is a common cause of slow and incomplete fermentations, as it affects yeast growth and thus fermentation rates. Nitrogen supplements are routinely added at the onset of fermentation, reducing the risk of problematic fermentations. Therefore characterising the fermentative ability of a strain over a range of oenologically relevant conditions, could aid winemakers in selecting a yeast strain capable of fermenting a grape must (of known sugar and nitrogen levels) to completion at the desired fermentation temperature. Investigations on fermentation related stress generally focus on its influence on fermentation rate and sugar consumption. However, from a winemaking perspective, the strain’s ability to produce the desired volatile aroma compounds is equally important. Yet, literature provides little insight into the influence stress has on the volatile aroma profile; this is surprising as wine aroma is closely linked to wine quality and consumer liking. The final goal of this study was to evaluate changes to the volatile aroma profiles produced by five commercial yeast strains, in response to hyperosmotic and temperature stress. The concentrations of the aroma compounds were quantified using a gas chromatograph coupled to a flame ionization detector. The results show that hyperosmotic and temperature stress caused significant changes in the levels of a number of aroma compounds. Furthermore, the changes observed differed among the evaluated strains, as well as for the fermentation stress treatments studied. Future aims should be directed towards the potential application of yeast strain selection as a means to avoid problematic fermentations in grape must; in addition to the further characterisation of the relationship between stress and the resultant volatile aroma profile in wine.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gisrasse moet verskeie stresfaktore afweer tydens die wynmaak proses. Die onvermoë van ‘n wyngis om stres waar te neem en die nodige fisiologiese veranderinge te inisieer om aan te pas by die strestoestande word met slepende of onvolledige fermentasies (met ‘n residuele suiker van meer as 4 g/L) geassosieer. Wyngisrasse verkil in genotipe; wat as groot verskille in die graad van strestoleransie, en dus ook fermentasie sukses geopenbaar word. Die eerste doelwit van hierdie studie was om te evalueer hoe die suiker (200 of 240 g/L) en stikstof (50, 100, 250, of 400 mg/L), asook die fermentasie temperatuur (15°C of 20°C) die fermentasie prestasie van 17 kommersiële wyngiskulture beïnvloed. Die sukses van fermentasie is geëvalueer op grond van fermentasie kinetika (sloerfase, maksimum fermentasiespoed en totale gewigsverlies as CO2 verlies), die residuele suiker inhoud en die gis droë massa. Die resultate demonstreer dat die fermentasie sukses van kommersiële giskulture beduidend en verskillend beïnvloed word deur die aanvangsstikstof en – suikerkonsentrasies, asook die fermentasie temperatuur. Daarbenewens, wanneer stikstof in oormaat teenwoordig is kan dit ‘n negatiewe impak op fermentasietempo en suiker metabolisme hê. Beperkende vlakke van stikstof ‘n algemene oorsaak van slepende of onvolledige fermentasies, aangesien stikstof die groei en gevolglik ook die fermentasiespoed van gis beïnvloed. Stikstofaanvullings word dikwels tot druiwemos toegevoeg aan die begin van gisting, wat die risiko van probleemfermentasies verlaag. Dus kan die karakterisering van die fermentasievermoë van ‘n gisras vir ‘n reeks wynkundig relevante kondisies die wynmaker help om ‘n gisras te selekteer wat in staat is om ‘n druiwemos (waarvan die suiker en stikstofvlakke bekend is) droog te gis by die gewenste temperatuur. Meeste studies wat fermentasieverwante stress ondersoek, fokus op die die invloed daarvan op fermentasietempo en suikerverbruik. Van ‘n wynmaakperspektief is die gis se vermoë om die gewensde vlugtige aroma komponente te produseer egter ewe belangrik as die vermoë om fermentasie te voltooi. Tog verskaf die literatuur min insig tot die invloed van stres op die vlugtige aromaprofiel; wat verbasend is aangesien die aromaprofiel ‘n belangrike faktor is van die waargenome wynkwaliteit en daarom ook verbruikersvoorkeur. Die finale doelwit van hierdie projek was om die veranderinge tot die vlugtige aromaprofiel geproduseer deur vyf kommersiële gisrasse in reaksie op hiperosmotiese stres en temperatuur stres te evalueer. Die konsentrasies van die aromakomponente is gekwantifiseer deur gas chromatografie gekoppel aan vlam‐ioniserende deteksie. Die resultate wys dat hiperosmotiese‐ en temperatuur stres beduidende veranderinge meebring in die vlakke van ‘n aantal aromakomponente. Verder is die waargenome veranderinge ook verskillend vir die geëvalueerde gisrasse, asook vir die verskille stresbehandelings wat ondersoek is. Toekomstige studies behoort gerig te wees op die toepassing van gis seleksie om potensiële probleemfermentasies in druiwemos te voorkom; asook die verdere karakterisering van die verhouding tussen omgewingstresfaktore en die gevolglike vlugtige aromaprofiel in wyn.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20336
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