• Dekkera/Brettanomyces;
  • growth inhibitors;
  • hydroxycinnamate decarboxylase/vinylphenol reductase activity;
  • red wines

ABSTRACT:  The growth of Dekkera/Brettanomyces yeasts during the ageing of red wines—which can seriously reduce the quality of the final product—is difficult to control. The present study examines the hydroxycinnamate decarboxylase/vinylphenol reductase activity of different strains of Dekkera bruxellensis and Dekkera anomala under a range of growth-limiting conditions with the aim of finding solutions to this problem. The yeasts were cultured in in-house growth media containing different quantities of growth inhibitors such as ethanol, SO2, ascorbic acid, benzoic acid and nicostatin, different sugar contents, and at different pHs and temperatures. The reduction of p-coumaric acid and the formation of 4-ethylphenol were periodically monitored by HPLC-PDA. The results of this study allow the optimization of differential media for detecting/culturing these yeasts, and suggest possible ways of controlling these organisms in wineries.