Ochratoxin A removal by Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains: effect of wine-related physicochemical factors


Correspondence to: Antonio Bevilacqua , Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy. Email: a.bevilacqua@unifg.it; abevi@libero.it



This study investigated the effect of some physicochemical parameters on the removal of ochratoxin A (OTA) by yeasts.


Two wild strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (W47 and Y28) were used to assess OTA removal under various conditions of temperature, pH, ethanol content and incubation time. All samples were analysed for OTA concentration by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, yeast oenological traits were investigated: qualitative and technological traits were assessed on appropriate laboratory media, while the main products of microfermentation (sugars, ethanol, glycerol, acetic acid) were evaluated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results showed OTA reduction by 36–42% in cultures containing 100 g L−1 ethanol incubated at pH 3.5 and 37 °C.


OTA removal was affected by contact time, pH and ethanol content, as it was increased at low pH and by 100 g L−1 ethanol. Moreover, the phenomenon was reversible, as OTA was lowest after 4 days, then it was partially released in the medium. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry