, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 155-162
Date: 18 Mar 2006

Generation of aroma compounds from Ditaxis heterantha by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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Ditaxis heterantha, a plant of the Euphorbiaceae family, is growing wild in the semiarid regions of Mexico. The seed endosperm contains yellow pigments (carotenoids). By high-pressure liquid chromatography the total pigment (TP) was separated into seven fractions: two of them, heterathin (F4) and ditaxin (F5), characterized as apocarotenoids, represent 80% of TP. Both molecules have double bonds, which seem to be the target for degradation and aroma formation. In this work, TP, F4, and F5 were supplied to nine cultures able to degrade lutein. From these strains, only one (identified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae) was able to produce aromas from either TP or F4. Using TP as substrate, the produced aromas were 4-oxo-isophorone (1), isophorone (2), cinnamic aldehyde (6), 3-hydroxy-β-cyclocitral (7), safranal (8), geranyl (9), 3-oxo-α-ionone (10), 3-oxo-α-ionol (11), 3-oxo-7,8-dihydro-α-ionone (12), and eugenol (13). Of these aromas, only seven were produced from F4: (1), (2), (7), (8), (10), (11), and (12). In both cases, safranal was the main degradation product (30%). The enzymatic activity responsible for this effect was found in the cytosolic fraction and detected only when S. cerevisiae was grown in the presence of TP or F4.