Original research articles

Acetaldehyde metabolism in industrial strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae inhibited by SO2 and cooling during alcoholic fermentation

Abstract

Aim: The addition of SO2 is a common technique for stopping alcoholic fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and producing beverages with residual sugar. However, SO2 causes a metabolic shift in active yeast leading to the formation of acetaldehyde and resulting in higher preservative SO2 requirements in the final product. The current work investigated the effects of stopping alcoholic fermentation using two industrial strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, by means of cooling and/or addition of SO2, on the kinetics of hexoses and acetaldehyde.
Methods and results: Alcoholic fermentation was conducted by inoculating natural Chardonnay grape must with two commonly used strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (CY3079 and EC1118). Ten days after inoculation, cooling (to 4 °C) and/or addition of SO2 (50-350 mg/L) were applied to stop fermentations at approximately 70-90 g/L of residual sugar. Incubations were carried out in an anaerobic chamber to prevent the formation of acetalhdeyde resulting from chemical oxidation. Samples were taken regularly and analysed for glucose, fructose and acetalhdyde levels.
In this work, addition of SO2 to 150 mg/L or more were effective in inhibiting further and practically relevant degradation of hexoses even in non-cooled control treatments. With concurrent cooling, an addition to 50 mg/L was sufficient. Addition of SO2always led to a slow increase in yeast acetaldehyde formation over time, regardless of cooling or the apparent inhibition of yeast sugar metabolism. Acetaldehyde increases were reduced with larger SO2 additions.
Conclusions: When using SO2 to stop alcoholic fermentations, large doses should be used and wines separated from the sedimented biomass soon thereafter. Nevertheless, rapid cooling remains preferable to SO2 addition and can prevent further microbial formation of acetaldehyde.
Significance and impact of the study: Results from the current work show that acetaldehyde, and therefore bound SO2formation, can be reduced when alcoholic fermentation is halted to obtain wines with residual sweetness.

Introduction

During alcoholic fermentation in grape wine production, it may be desirable to conserve residual sugar in order to balance high acidity, which is more common in cool climates, or achieve sweet wine styles that are appreciated by some consumers (Fischer and Wilke, 2000). Residual sugar can be conserved by stopping alcoholic fermentation (AF) before the natural sugar is depleted by yeast metabolism (Boulton et al., 1996). This can be achieved by removing the yeast biomass (by filtration or centrifugation) or by inhibiting its metabolism by adding distillates (in the production of special fortified wines), cooling or adding SO2 (Bird, 2010). The filtration or centrifugation of wines undergoing AF requires suitable equipment that is not widely available, while cooling involves high energy costs. Accordingly, the addition of SO2 remains a cheap, rapid and common technique for stopping alcoholic fermentation. SO2 is an ideal and cost-effective wine preservative because of its antimicrobial (Delfini and Formica, 2001; Doyle and Beuchat, 2007), antioxidant (Danilewicz, 2003) and anti-enzymatic properties (Wedzicha et al., 1991). SO2 also causes a significant metabolic shift in yeast that has been described early on (Neuberg and Reinfurth, 1918). By strongly binding acetaldehyde (the terminal electron acceptor of alcoholic fermentation) (Gottschalk, 1986), the biosynthesis of glycerol intensifies as an alternative pathway for the regeneration of reduced dinucleotides (Remize et al., 2000) and, concurrently, yeast acetaldehyde formation increases (Jackowetz et al., 2011). Wines with high acetaldehyde residues require larger SO2 additions in order to maintain sufficient concentrations of free SO2 for anti-microbial and anti-oxidant activity (Jackowetz and Mira de Orduña, 2013). Given the recent reduction of legal SO2 limits in some markets and consumer concerns regarding its concentration in wines (Stolz and Schmid, 2008; Guerrero and Cantos-Villar, 2015), controlling the microbial formation of acetaldehyde is desirable. Recent work has shown that the SO2-induced increase in residual acetaldehyde levels in fermentations with Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces yeast ranged from 217 to 530 µg acetaldehyde per mg of SO2 added to the must before fermentation (Li and Mira de Orduña, 2017). However, the effects on acetaldehyde formation of adding SO2 during an active AF has not yet been quantified.

The purpose of this work was to study the effects of SO2 addition and/or cooling for interrupting alcoholic fermentation using two commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains on the time course of hexose and acetaldehyde concentrations. Incubations were conducted in an anaerobic chamber to avoid chemical acetaldehyde formation from ethanol oxidation (Danilewicz, 2012).

Materials and Methods

1. Yeast strains and grape must

The commercial active dry yeast strains, Saccharomyces cerevisiae CY3079 and EC1118, were obtained from Lallemand Inc. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and used according to manufacturer recommendations at an inoculation rate of 0.25 g/L. A flash-pasteurised grape must (Chardonnay) from the Languedoc region (Kamil Juices, Canada) was filter-sterilised (0.45 µm nitrocellulose membrane, Millipore, MA, USA) and used as fermentation medium. The must had 21.4 °Brix, the pH was 3.2 and the titratable acidity was 8.4 g/L, expressed as tartaric acid. The initial yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) concentration was 126 mg/L. The must was supplemented with a complex yeast derived nutrient (0.25 g/L Fermaid K, Lallemand Inc., Montreal, Canada) before inoculation.

All fermentations were conducted statically with 800 mL of grape must in 1000 mL glass bottles in an anaerobic chamber (Coy Laboratory Products Inc., MI, USA) to prevent the formation of acetaldehyde from chemical oxidation reactions. The oxygen concentration in the chamber was monitored with a fluorescence lifetime quenching trace level oxygen meter (Fibox3 LCD trace, PreSens, Regensburg, Germany) and remained below 1 µg/l dissolved oxygen (reference H2O) throughout the experiment. After an incubation period of 10 d at 18 °C, SO2 was added to 0-350 mg/L (sterile filtered water was added to all treatments <350 mg/L SO2 in order to normalise the volume increase). The fermentations were then either kept at 18 °C or cooled to and kept at 4 °C for another 15 d (Table 1). Cooling to 4 °C was achieved within 1.5 hours using a cooled water bath. SO2 additions were made by adding appropriate volumes of a 50 g/L SO2 stock solution, which was freshly prepared by dissolving 8.675 g of potassium metabisulfite in water and adjusting the volume to 100 mL. All fermentations were carried out in duplicate. Samples were taken periodically during fermentations and stored at 20 °C for subsequent analysis.

2. Analytical methods and statistical analysis

Total acetaldehyde was measured enzymatically with a commercial test kit (Megazyme, UK). Glucose and fructose were measured by HPLC using a Shimadzu Prominence System (Columbia, MD, USA). Following filtration (0.22 μm, nylon membrane, Whatman, NJ, USA), a 5 μL sample was injected and separated using a sulfonated styrene-divinylbenzene stationary phase (RHM Monosaccharide H+8 %, 300×7.8 mm, Phenomenex, Torrance, CA, USA) at 85 °C. Hexoses were quantified by refractive index detection (RID-10A, Shimadzu Tokyo, Japan). The mobile phase consisted of ASTM Class I water and the flow rate was 0.5 ml/min. Data representation and rate fittings were carried out using OriginLab Origin v9.0 (OriginLab, Northhampton, MA, USA) and the statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS v.16 (Chicago, IL, USA).

Results

From an initial hexose concentration of 230 g/L combined glucose and fructose, an average of 69 g/L (30 %) and 86 g/L (38 %) remained after 10 d of alcoholic fermentation in treatments with S. cerevisiae strains CY3079 and EC1118 respectively (Table 1), resulting in 7.5-8.5 % (vol.) alcohol. Figures 1 and 2 provide a graphical representation of the course of hexose and acetaldehyde concentrations in treatments in which alcoholic fermentation was to be interrupted after 10 days by adding SO2.

Figure 1. Time course of acetaldehyde (❏), glucose (〇) and fructose (Δ) concentration in Chardonnay fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CY3079, with different amounts of SO2 added at day 10. Fermentations were settled at 18 °C after SO2 addition. Average values of duplicate treatments ± SD shown.

Degradation of hexoses continued beyond 10 d in the control treatments without added SO2, and the wines almost reached dryness (<4 g/L) during the experimental observation period of 25 d. A single SO2 dose increasing the SO2 concentration by 50 mg/L reduced the sugar degradation rate, but it was insufficient to halt fermentations. Accordingly, after 25 d an average of only 40 % (CY3079) and 26 % (EC1118) of the residual sugar content at d=10 remained in the wines. On the contrary, single doses increasing the SO2 concentration by 150, 250 or 350 mg/L after 10 d halted AF in treatments with both yeast strains, thus retaining fermentable sugars.

Acetaldehyde concentrations were further reduced by 18 % (CY3079) and 30 % (EC1118) between 10 and 25 d in the control treatments without added SO2. In contrast, in all treatments with added SO2, acetaldehyde concentration resurged. The re-increase was particularly marked in treatments where yeast sugar degradation was only partially inhibited; i.e., at 50 mg/L added SO2 (Table 1), when acetaldehyde concentrations increased by up to 36 mg/L after addition of SO2.

Figure 2. Time course of acetaldehyde (❏), glucose (〇) and fructose (Δ) concentration in Chardonnay fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae EC1118 with different amounts of SO2 added at day 10. Fermentations were settled at 18 °C after SO2 addition. Average values of duplicate treatments ± SD shown.

Figures 3 and 4 represent data from treatments where cooling was applied. In cooling treatments without SO2 addition, small amounts of fermentable sugars were degraded during the cooling phase, but concentrations remained stable afterwards. Combined cooling and SO2 additions immediately prevented further sugar degradation, even at the lowest dose of SO2 (50 mg/L).

Compared with the control treatment at 18 °C, the degradation of acetaldehyde was inhibited by cooling even without addition of SO2. A small increase (+5.5 mg/L) was recorded in the cooled treatment with strain EC1118 (Table 1). In treatments with combined cooling and SO2 addition, acetaldehyde concentrations re-increased significantly, such as for treatments at 18 °C. The observed increases occurred throughout the observation period (10-25 d) and not merely during the cooling phase.

Figure 3. Time course of acetaldehyde (❏), glucose (〇) and fructose (Δ) concentration in Chardonnay fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CY3079 with different amounts of SO2 added at day 10. Fermentations were cooled down to 4 °C after SO2 addition. Average values of duplicate treatments ± SD shown.

Figure 4. Time course of acetaldehyde (❏), glucose (〇) and fructose (Δ) concentration in Chardonnay wine fermentation of EC1118 with different amounts of SO2 added at day 10. Fermentations were cooled down to 4 °C after SO2 addition. Average values of duplicate treatments ± SD shown.

Figure 5 provides graphical summaries of the data and allows comparing the effect of all treatments on the degradation or formation of acetaldehyde by the two yeast strains investigated. Interestingly, SO2 additions always led to acetaldehyde concentration increases regardless of any apparent degradation of sugar. However, large SO2 additions (250, 350 mg/L) caused more modest acetaldehyde formations than lower (50, 150 mg/L) additions (Figure 5A). This relationship is also visible from the SO2-based acetaldehyde production yields (Table 1): at 50 and 150 mg/L added SO2, the formation yields ranged between 180-720 µg acetaldehyde per mg added SO2, while for 250 and 350 mg/L added SO2 the values remained at <100 µg acetaldehyde per mg added SO2 (Figure 5B). Concurrent cooling always resulted in a reduction of acetaldehyde formation when compared to the same SO2 addition without cooling.

Figure 5. Effect of storage temperature and SO2 addition during AF (10 d) on (A) the degradation or formation of acetaldehyde in the second fermentation phase (10-25 d), and (B) the resulting acetaldehyde formation yields. Red, 18 °C; Blue, 4 °C; ❏ CY3079; 〇 EC1118. Crossed out symbols highlight treatments where AF was not fully halted (degradation >5 g/L) until the end of the observation period (25 d).

Table 1. Effects of different amounts of SO2 addition during alcoholic fermentation on hexose and acetaldehyde kinetics of S. cerevisiae CY3079 and EC1118 in Chardonnay must


Yeast strain

SO2 addition

Temp.

Sugar(g/l)

Sugar degraded after SO2 addition

Acetaldehyde (mg/l)

Acetaldehyde degraded/formed after SO2 addition

SO2-based acetaldehyde formation yield

(mg/l)

°C

10th d

25th d

(g/l)

10th d

25th d

(mg/l)

(µg mg-1)

CY3079

0

18

68.9±1.4

3.9±0.1

64.9±1.5

42.1±0.6

34.5±1.2

-7.6±1.2 d

NA

CY3079

50

18

68.6±2.9

27.3±0.1

41.3±2.8

41.9±3.1

78.2±3.0

36.2±6.1 a

725±122 a

CY3079

150

18

69.7±1.9

68.4±0.7

NS

43.3±1.7

78.8±0.7

35.6±2.4 a

237±16 ab

CY3079

250

18

74.7±3.9

75.1±4.7

NS

42.2±2.8

56.9±5.9

14.7±3.2 b

59±13 c

CY3079

350

18

65.3±2.0

66.3±2.0

NS

39.9±0.5

52.1±3.1

12.1±3.6 b

35±10 c

CY3079

0

4

70.7±1.3

68.6±1.6

2.1±0.2

40.4±0.3

38.9±1.1

-1.5±0.9 c

NA

CY3079

50

4

84.0±3.4

83.5±2.8

NS

41.5±3.4

67.8±4.9

26.3±1.6 ab

526±31 ab

CY3079

150

4

86.8±3.7

87.0±3.2

NS

35.9±0.4

47.8±0.4

11.9±0.7 b

79±5 c

EC1118

0

18

83.8±2.9

3.7±1.0

80.1±3.8

41.9±0.9

29.1±0.1

-12.8±2.1 e

NA

EC1118

50

18

87.3±1.6

22.7±0.4

64.6±1.3

48.1±0.8

78.2±1.5

30.1±0.7 a

602±14 a

EC1118

150

18

85.6±1.2

84.8±0.9

NS

39.4±0.8

66.8±1.0

27.4±1.8 a

183±12 b

EC1118

250

18

82.9±2.6

81.8±1.3

NS

39.0±1.0

61.9±2.1

22.9±3.1 a

92±12 b

EC1118

350

18

91.8±1.1

92.0±3.5

NS

39.7±1.6

65.1±3.9

25.3±2.3 a

72±7 b

EC1118

0

4

91.1±3.4

86.3±2.9

4.8±0.5

38.2±2.5

42.7±0.7

5.5±1.9 c

NA

EC1118

50

4

83.6±2.4

82.9±2.8

NS

36.2±0.8

58.3±5.2

22.1±4.4 a

441±88 a

EC1118

150

4

86.8±3.7

87.0±3.2

NS

40.6±0.5

61.4±6.4

20.7±5.9 a

138±39 b

Letters display statistically significant differences in a column (p<0.05).

Discussion

So-called "off-dry" wines that contain a certain amount of residual sugar, or semi-sweet and sweet wines, play an important role among commercial grape wines (Robinson, 1999). In certain markets, it is possible to produce such wines by adding sugar (typically sucrose) to "dry" wines in which sugar has been depleted after alcoholic fermentation (AF). Where this may not be legal, natural grape juice, which is set aside and conserved after grape pressing (so-called "sweet reserve"), may be used to back-sweeten dry wines (Boulton et al., 1996). Completing AF, however, leads to wines that are also higher in alcohol levels. If wine styles with residual sugars and reduced alcohol concentrations are to be achieved, AF needs to be stopped before the naturally contained sugar is completely transformed to alcohol. Stopping vigorous AF by technological means (i.e., cross-flow filtration or centrifugation) is possible (Bird, 2010), but equipment purchasing costs are significant. Most wineries have cooling equipment that may be used if appropriate heat exchangers are available, but cooling has high energy requirements. Accordingly, SO2 addition is widely applied, especially in small wineries (Ough, 1992). The current work investigated the effect of cooling and/or addition of SO2 on the course of sugar and acetaldehyde concentrations in wines fermented by two commercial yeast strains. The study was carried out in an anaerobic environment thus preventing interference from chemical oxidation and allowing changes in acetaldehyde concentrations to be attributed to yeast metabolism.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains naturally produce some acetaldehyde as a fermentation by-product (Cheraiti et al., 2010). It is well established that adding SO2 to metabolically active yeast will shift yeast metabolism, causing increased acetaldehyde production to compensate for losses caused by SO2-binding of the principal electron acceptor of AF (Jackowetz et al., 2011). Commonly, some SO2 (30-50 mg/L) is added to must during or after grape pressing to control indigenous yeast and bacteria. A recent study (Li & Mira de Orduña, 2017) on the effect of adding SO2 to must on the metabolism of Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces yeast has revealed average SO2-based acetaldehyde production yields of 325 µg acetaldehyde/mg added SO2. An average of 400 µg acetaldehyde/mg added SO2 has been found in another study (Jackowetz et al., 2011) on two oenological yeasts under different winemaking conditions. The present work has revealed values of <100 to >700 µg acetaldehyde/mg added SO2, depending on the amount of SO2 introduced to stop AF and whether cooling was applied or not. Large SO2 additions and cooling reduced the formation yields. If powerful cooling equipment is not available, high SO2 doses (within legal constraints) would thus be preferable for stopping AF.

The data from our study also showed that an apparent lack of sugar degradation, as quantified within the limits of the analytical technique applied and relevant in practical terms, did not preclude yeast acetaldehyde formation. This suggests that residual yeast metabolic activity persisted and caused small, but steady, acetaldehyde concentration increases, even at 4 °C. A low level or absence of sugar degradation results in the loss of yeast CO2 production and thus yeast buoyancy (König et al., 2009). Reducing SO2-mediated acetaldehyde increases may therefore be possible by decanting wines off the sedimented yeast soon after SO2 addition. However, the current work strongly suggests that cooling alone should be the preferred method for avoiding yeast acetaldehyde formation. Applying a faster cooling rate can be achieved by using a heat exchange system, thus preventing small reductions in sugar concentrations as observed in our study.

Conclusions

The present work investigated the effects of cooling and/or addition of SO2 during alcoholic fermentation using commercial S. cerevisiae strains on the time course of concentrations of sugars and acetaldehyde. It was shown that the addition of SO2 always led to a slow increase in yeast acetaldehyde formation over time, regardless of cooling or the apparent inhibition of yeast sugar metabolism. The work suggests that rapid cooling should be used to stop AF and prevent increases in acetaldehyde concentrations which lead to increased bound and total-SO2 in finished wines. If SO2 addition is to be used alone, high doses should be considered and wines decanted (racked off) the yeast lees in a timely fashion.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31771947).

References

  • Boulton R.B., Singleton, V.L., Bisson, L.F. and Kunkee R.E., 1996. Principles and Practices of Winemaking. (1 ed.) New York: Chapman & Hall.
  • Cheraiti N., Guezenec S. and Salmon J.M., 2010. Very early acetaldehyde production by industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains: A new intrinsic character. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 86, 693-700.
  • Danilewicz J.C., 2003. Review of reaction mechanisms of oxygen and proposed intermediate reaction products in wine: central role of iron and copper. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 54, 73-85.
  • Danilewicz J.C., 2012. Review of oxidative processes in wine and value of reduction potentials in enology. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 63, 1-10.
  • Delfini C. and Formica J.V., 2001. Wine Microbiology: Science and Technology. New York: Marcel Dekker.
  • Doyle M. and Beuchat L., 2007. Food microbiology: fundamentals and frontiers. (vols. Edn. 3) Washington, DC: ASM Press.
  • Fischer U. and Wilke A., 2000. Acidity structure and consumer preferences. Consumers do not enjoy acidity. Deutsche Weinmagazin, 22, 24-29.
  • Gottschalk G., 1986. Bacterial Metabolism. (2 ed.) New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • Guerrero R.F. and Cantos-Villar E., 2015. Demonstrating the efficiency of sulphur dioxide replacements in wine: a parameter review. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 42, 27-43.
  • Jackowetz J.N., Dierschke S.E. and Mira de Orduña, R., 2011. Multifactorial analysis of acetaldehyde kinetics during alcoholic fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Food Research International, 44, 310-316.
  • Jackowetz J.N. and Mira de Orduña R., 2013. Survey of SO2 binding carbonyls in 237 red and white table wines. Food Control, 32, 687-692.
  • König H., Unden G. and Fröhlich J., 2009. Biology of Microorganisms on Grapes, in Must and in Wine. Berlin: Springer.
  • Li E. and Mira de Orduña, R., 2017. Acetaldehyde kinetics of enological yeast during alcoholic fermentation in grape must. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 44, 229-236.
  • Neuberg C. and Reinfurth E., 1918. Die Festlegung der Aldehydstufe bei der alkoholischen Gärung. Ein experimenteller Beweis der Acetaldehyd-Brenztraubensäuretheorie. Biochemische Zeitschrift, 89, 365-414.
  • Ough C.S., 1992. Winemaking Basics. (1 ed.) Binghampton, NY: Food Products Press.
  • Remize F., Sablayrolles J.M. and Dequin S., 2000. Re-assessment of the influence of yeast strain and environmental factors on glycerol production in wine. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 88, 371-378.
  • Robinson J., 1999. The Oxford Companion to Wine. (2 ed.) New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Stolz H. and Schmid, O., 2008. Consumer attitudes and expectations of organic wine. orgprints.org [On-line]. Available: http://orgprints.org/13974/
  • Wedzicha B.L., Bellion, I. and Goddard S.J., 1991. Inhibition of browning by sulfites. Nutritional and Toxicological Consequences of Food Processing, 289, 217-236.

Authors


Erhu Li

Affiliation : College of Food Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan
Country : China


Ramón Mira de Orduña Heidinger

http://www.changins.ch

Affiliation : University of Western Switzerland, Changins College of Viticulture and Oenology
Country : Switzerland

ramon.mira@changins.ch

Attachments

No supporting information for this article

Article statistics

Views: 386

Downloads

PDF: 75

XML: 9

Citations

PlumX