Metabolic profiling as a tool for revealing Saccharomyces interactions during wine fermentation


The multi-yeast strain composition of wine fermentations has been well established. However, the effect of multiple strains of Saccharomyces spp. on wine flavour is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that multiple strains of Saccharomyces grown together in grape juice can affect the profile of aroma compounds that accumulate during fermentation. A metabolic footprint of each yeast in monoculture, mixed cultures or blended wines was derived by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry measurement of volatiles accumulated during fermentation. The resultant ion spectrograms were transformed and compared by principal-component analysis. The principal-component analysis showed that the profiles of compounds present in wines made by mixed-culture fermentation were different from those where yeasts were grown in monoculture fermentation, and these differences could not be produced by blending wines. Blending of monoculture wines to mimic the population composition of mixed-culture wines showed that yeast metabolic interactions could account for these differences. Additionally, the yeast strain contribution of volatiles to a mixed fermentation cannot be predicted by the population of that yeast. This study provides a novel way to measure the population status of wine fermentations by metabolic footprinting. © 2005 The Australian Wine Research Institute.

Publication Title

FEMS Yeast Research