Effects of temperature, ammonium and glucose concentrations on yeast growth in a model wine system


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In enology, alcoholic fermentation is a complex process involving several mechanisms. Slow and incomplete alcoholic fermentation is a chronic problem for the wine industry and factors leading to sluggish and stuck fermentations have been extensively studied and reviewed. The most studied cause of sluggish and stuck fermentation is the nitrogen content limitation. Nevertheless, other factors, such as temperature of fermentation and sugar concentration can affect the growth of yeasts. In this study we modelled the yeast growth-cycle in wine model system as a function of temperature, sugar and ammonium concentrations; the individual effects and the interaction of these factors were analysed by means of a quadratic response surface methodology. Cell concentrations and weight loss were monitored in the whole wine fermentation process. The results of central composite design show that lower is the availability of nitrogen, higher is the cell growth rate; moreover, initial nitrogen concentration also influences survival time of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.