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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 Apr;36(4):571-83. doi: 10.1007/s10295-009-0527-x. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

The production of hydrogen sulphide and other aroma compounds by wine strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in synthetic media with different nitrogen concentrations.

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  • 1IBB, Centro de Genética e Biotecnologia, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the combined effect of initial nitrogen content on the production of hydrogen sulphide and other volatile compounds during alcoholic fermentation. For that propose, three commercial wine strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were used to ferment synthetic grape juice media under different nitrogen concentrations. H(2)S was measured throughout fermentations and other aroma compounds were analyzed at the end of the experiments. The trigger levels at which an inverse relationship between the initial nitrogen present in media and total H(2)S production varied among the three strains tested. For UCD522 and PYCC4072, the highest H(2)S levels were produced in media with 267 mg N l(-1) of initial nitrogen, whereas the lowest levels were detected with nitrogen limitation/starvation conditions (66 mg N l(-1)). Moreover, 21 other aroma compounds belonging to different chemical classes were identified and quantified by solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The initial nitrogen concentration more than yeast strain had a decisive effect on the final aroma composition, suggesting that modulation of nutrients emerges as a useful tool for producing desired flavour and odour compounds.

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