, Volume 28, Issue 19, pp 1515-1525
Date: 02 Aug 2006

Immobilized yeast cell systems for continuous fermentation applications

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In several yeast-related industries, continuous fermentation systems offer important economical advantages in comparison with traditional systems. Fermentation rates are significantly improved, especially when continuous fermentation is combined with cell immobilization techniques to increase the yeast concentration in the fermentor. Hence the technique holds a great promise for the efficient production of fermented beverages, such as beer, wine and cider as well as bio-ethanol. However, there are some important pitfalls, and few industrial-scale continuous systems have been implemented. Here, we first review the various cell immobilization techniques and reactor setups. Then, the impact of immobilization on cell physiology and fermentation performance is discussed. In a last part, we focus on the practical use of continuous fermentation and cell immobilization systems for beer production.