Main content area

The addition of citrate stimulates the production of acetoin and diacetyl by a citrate-positive Lactobacillus crustorum strain during wheat sourdough fermentation

Comasio, Andrea, Harth, Henning, Weckx, Stefan, De Vuyst, Luc
International journal of food microbiology 2019 v.289 pp. 88-105
Lactobacillus, acetic acid, acetoin, bacterial communities, baked goods, citrates, diacetyl, fermentation, genes, genome mining, ingredients, lactic acid, lactic acid bacteria, lemons, liquids, microbial activity, milk, odor compounds, odors, pH, pyrazines, recipes, sourdough, starter cultures, succinic acid, taste, wheat, yeasts
In traditional sourdough fermentation recipes of artisan bakeries, often extra ingredients are added to the flour-water mixture. This may accentuate the aroma and taste of the baked products produced from such sourdoughs. This is made possible, for instance, by stimulating certain microbial activities during fermentation. This study examined the effects of the addition of citrate (a food-grade organic acid present in milk and lemons) on wheat sourdough fermentation in the presence of a citrate-positive, homofermentative, lactic acid bacterial starter culture strain, namely Lactobacillus crustorum LMG 23699. Both liquid and firm wheat sourdoughs were produced. The starter culture strain was able to steer all wheat sourdough fermentations performed, as it always prevailed due to its competitiveness, as shown through culture-dependent microbiological plating and culture-independent bacterial community profiling. Moreover, it possessed all enzyme-encoding genes (as unraveled through genome mining) necessary to convert citrate into desirable compounds such as lactic acid, acetic acid, succinate, acetoin, diacetyl, and 2,3-butanediol. Indeed, citrate addition to the wheat flour-water mixture had an impact on the sourdough fermentation dynamics and thus on the aroma profile of the liquid and firm sourdoughs produced and breads made thereof. A higher final pH, higher total titratable acidity values, and low yeast counts were found in wheat sourdoughs produced with citrate. In particular, the starter culture strain added converted the supplemented citrate into more l-lactic acid as well as acetoin and diacetyl (buttery aroma compounds), which was independent of the dough yield. The buttery aroma compounds were also accentuated in the concomitant breads produced. Further, organic acid production was stimulated in the sourdoughs, whereas increased pyrazine concentrations occurred in the breads. Consequently, citrate supplementation to wheat sourdoughs could be of interest to produce baked goods with enhanced buttery aroma compounds and notes.