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ABSTRACT

Three cultures immobilized by entrapping within alginate gel beads and packed in near-horizontal acrylic columns (15.0° angle) were used for alcohol/malolactic fermentation of grape must. Immobilized cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae spp. chablis were placed in the 1st column, S. cerevisiae cells (an alcohol-sucrose-tolerant yeast) in the 2nd and the Lactobacillus delbrueckii cells in the 3rd column. Grape must with different levels of sugar(s), were each fed to the bioreactor columns at dilution rate of 0.74 h−1 and recycled at 37.0C. The percent fermentation efficiency and yield using the 1st and 2nd columns for grape must containing 33.3% sugar(s) were 92.9 and 91.5%, respectively, and the wine had 15.5% alcohol after 23 cycles (∼ 50 h fermentation). The viability of the immobilized yeast cells in the alginate gel-bead was 84%± 4.0. Immobilized Lactobacillus delbrueckii cells were then added to the 3rd column (in series 37.0C) and the three cultures resulted in alcohol/malolactic fermentation of the grape must, evidenced by the high level of alcohol formed and simultaneous transformation of malic to lactic acid. Sensory evaluation of the wine scored high (7.8 ± 2.0 based on a value of 10.0) and indicated the potential of using multiple immobilized cells of two specific yeast cultures and a malolactic Lactobacillus for wine production.