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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2003;84(4):301-11.

A study on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by tropical ascomycetous yeasts.

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Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale e Biotecnologie Agroambientali, Sezione di Microbiologia Applicata, Università di Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno, 06100 Perugia, Italy.


As a part of a program aiming at the selection of strains which might be of interest as sources of natural flavouring molecules, the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 98 ascomycetous yeast strains (representative of 40 species belonging to 12 genera) isolated from tropical environments was investigated. Volatiles produced were sampled by means of headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and the compounds were analysed and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The VOCs produced were found to be alcohols (amyl alcohol and isoamyl alcohol), aldehydes (2-methyl-2-hexenal and 2-isopropyl-5-methyl-2-hexenal) and esters (ethyl isobutyrate, isobutyl acetate, isoamyl acetate, 2-methylbutyl acetate, ethyl isovalerate, isoamyl propionate and phenylmethyl acetate). Differences in VOC profiles were used to cluster the yeast strains into 25 VOC phenotypes. The different frequency of VOC phenotypes in three specific habitats was correlated to the divergent environmental conditions, possibly affecting the selection of specific yeasts. From a biotechnological viewpoint, this study reveals the potentiality of ascomycetous yeasts isolated from tropical environments as a promising source of VOCs relevant in food and fragrance industry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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