Effect of Protectants on the Fermentation Performance of Wine Yeasts Subjected to Osmotic Stress

Andrea Caridi

Department of Agro-Forestry and Environmental Technology and Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, Piazza San Francesco 7, I-89061 Gallina (RC), Italia

Article history:

Received: June 28, 2002 
Accepted: April 24, 2003

Key words:

metabolism, stress, wine yeast


During alcoholic fermentation of must from dried grapes, yeasts are subjected to very high sugar concentrations, besides other environmental stresses, and they modify their metabolic behaviour giving low ethanol yield and abnormally high acetic acid production. To investigate the protective effect of catechin, inositol, and SO2 on wine yeasts, three thermotolerant strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, selected for wine making of must from dried grapes, and three strains of Saccharomyces selected for the production of wine, were inoculated in a sample of must at very high osmotic strength. A significant (p<0.01 or p<0.05) relationship between the addition of 100 mg/L of catechin, inositol or SO2 to the grape must and the change in the metabolic behaviour of the yeasts was observed. Compared to the control and depending on strain and protectant, the fermentation rate after 3 days increased up to 55 %, the ethanol content of the wines increased up to 16 %, the unitary succinic acid production increased up to 55 %, the unitary acetic acid production decreased up to 53 %, and the unitary glycerol production decreased up to 69 %. So by adding catechin, inositol or SO2 to the grape must it is possible to minimise the abnormal fermentation performance that wine yeasts exhibit in wine making of must from dried grapes.  

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