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Summary

Thermal stress conditions during alcoholic fermentation modify yeasts' plasma membrane since they become more hyperfluid, which results in a loss of bilayer integrity. In this study, the influence of elevated temperatures on nitrogen metabolism of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain was studied, as well as the effect of different concentrations of SO2 on nitrogen metabolism under thermal stress conditions. The results obtained revealed that amino nitrogen consumption was lower in the fermentation sample subjected to thermal stress than in the control, and differences in amino acid consumption preferences were also detected, especially at the beginning of the fermentation. Under thermal stress conditions, among the three doses of SO2 studied (0, 35, 70 mg l−1 SO2), the highest dose was observed to favour amino acid utilization during the fermentative process, whereas sugar consumption presented higher rates at medium doses.