Optimal automatic bioreactor control requires a mathematical model adapted to the potency of reliable sensors. A new relationship describing the kinetic behavior of alcoholic fermentation is discussed. By analogy with chemical kinetics, the biological rate of substrate consumption is related to substrate and product concentration by the following equation:
Using the well known yield relation between product and substrate, it is possible to describe in both batch and continuous cultures the ethanol and sugar concentrations versus time. This pattern has been successfully tested on several fermentations performed by yeasts (S. cerevisiae, S. bayanus, and S. cerevisiae sake) and a bacterium (Z. mobilis). This simple relationship is proposed as a tool for process control alcoholic fermentation.