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Keywords:

  • non-Saccharomyces;
  • mixed fermentation;
  • wine quality;
  • fermentation technologies

Abstract

Mixed fermentations using controlled inoculation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae starter cultures and non-Saccharomyces yeasts represent a feasible way towards improving the complexity and enhancing the particular and specific characteristics of wines. The profusion of selected starter cultures has allowed the more widespread use of inoculated fermentations, with consequent improvements to the control of the fermentation process, and the use of new biotechnological processes in winemaking. Over the last few years, as a consequence of the re-evaluation of the role of non-Saccharomyces yeasts in winemaking, there have been several studies that have evaluated the use of controlled mixed fermentations using Saccharomyces and different non-Saccharomyces yeast species from the wine environment. The combined use of different species often results in unpredictable compounds and/or different levels of fermentation products being produced, which can affect both the chemical and the aromatic composition of wines. Moreover, possible synergistic interactions between different yeasts might provide a tool for the implementation of new fermentation technologies. Thus, knowledge of the Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces wine yeast interactions during wine fermentation needs to be improved. To reach this goal, further investigations into the genetic and physiological background of such non-Saccharomyces wine yeasts are needed, so as to apply ‘-omics’ approaches to mixed culture fermentations.