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Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2013;4:191-214. doi: 10.1146/annurev-food-030212-182609.

Genetic and phenotypic characteristics of baker's yeast: relevance to baking.

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  • 1Departamento de Biotecnología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Valencia, Spain. randez@iata.csic.es


Yeasts rarely encounter ideal physiological conditions during their industrial life span; therefore, their ability to adapt to changing conditions determines their usefulness and applicability. This is especially true for baking strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The success of this yeast in the ancient art of bread making is based on its capacity to rapidly transform carbohydrates into CO2 rather than its unusual resistance to environmental stresses. Moreover, baker's yeast must exhibit efficient respiratory metabolism during yeast manufacturing, which determines biomass yield. However, optimal growth conditions often have negative consequences in other commercially important aspects, such as fermentative power or stress tolerance. This article reviews the genetic and physiological characteristics of baking yeast strains, emphasizing the activation of regulatory mechanisms in response to carbon source and stress signaling and their importance in defining targets for strain selection and improvement.

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