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Bioflavoring by non-conventional yeasts in sequential beer fermentations

Holt, Sylvester, Mukherjee, Vaskar, Lievens, Bart, Verstrepen, Kevin J., Thevelein, Johan M.
Food microbiology 2018 v.72 pp. 55-66
Pichia, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, alcoholic fermentation, bananas, beers, brewing, ethyl acetate, flavor, guaiacol, odors, yeasts
Non-conventional yeast species have great capacity for producing diverse flavor profiles in production of alcoholic beverages, but their potential for beer brewing, in particular in consecutive fermentations with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has only poorly been explored. We have screened 17 non-conventional yeast species for production of an appealing profile of flavor esters and phenolics in the first phase of alcoholic fermentation, followed by inoculation with S. cerevisiae to complete the fermentation. For measurement of phenolic compounds and their precursors we developed an improved and highly sensitive methodology. The results show that non-conventional yeast species possess promising potential for enhancement of desirable flavors in beer production. Notable examples are increasing isoamyl acetate (fruity, banana flavor) by application of P. kluyverii, augmenting ethyl phenolic compounds (spicy notes) with Brettanomyces species and enhancing 4-vinyl guaiacol (clove-like aroma) with T. delbrueckii. All Pichia strains also produced high levels of ethyl acetate (solvent-like flavor). This might be selectively counteracted by selection of an appropriate S. cerevisiae strain for the second fermentation phase, which lowers total ester profile. Hence, optimization of the process conditions and/or proper strain selection in sequentially inoculated fermentations are required to unlock the full potential for aroma improvement by the non-conventional yeast species.