Main content area

Technological properties of Lactobacillus plantarum strains isolated from grape must fermentation

Berbegal, Carmen, Peña, Nuria, Russo, Pasquale, Grieco, Francesco, Pardo, Isabel, Ferrer, Sergi, Spano, Giuseppe, Capozzi, Vittorio
Food microbiology 2016 v.57 pp. 187-194
Lactobacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, acidification, alcoholic fermentation, ethanol, freeze drying, genes, grape must, malolactic fermentation, pH, starter cultures, sugars, wines, yeasts
Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a secondary fermentation in wine that usually takes place during or at the end of alcoholic fermentation. Lactobacillus plantarum is able to conduct MLF (particularly under high pH conditions and in co-inoculation with yeasts), and some strains are commercially used as MLF starter cultures. Recent evidences suggest a further use of selected L. plantarum strains for the pre-alcoholic acidification of grape must. In this study, we have carried out an integrated (molecular, technological, and biotechnological) characterization of L. plantarum strains isolated from Apulian wines in order to combine the two protechnological features (MLF performances and must acidification aptitudes). Several parameters such as sugar, pH and ethanol tolerance, resistance to lyophilisation and behaviour in grape must were evaluated. Moreover, the expression of stress gene markers was investigated and was linked to the ability of L. plantarum strains to grow and perform MLF. Co-inoculation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and L. plantarum in grape must improves the bacterial adaptation to harsh conditions of wine and reduced total fermentation time. For the first time, we applied a polyphasic approach for the characterization of L. plantarum in reason of the MLF performances. The proposed procedure can be generalized as a standard method for the selection of bacterial resources for the design of MLF starter cultures tailored for high pH must.