, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 875-881
Date: 18 Jan 2013

Performance evaluation of Pichia kluyveri, Kluyveromyces marxianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in industrial tequila fermentation

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Abstract

Traditionally, industrial tequila production has used spontaneous fermentation or Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains. Despite the potential of non-Saccharomyces strains for alcoholic fermentation, few studies have been performed at industrial level with these yeasts. Therefore, in this work, Agave tequilana juice was fermented at an industrial level using two non-Saccharomyces yeasts (Pichia kluyveri and Kluyveromyces marxianus) with fermentation efficiency higher than 85 %. Pichia kluyveri (GRO3) was more efficient for alcohol and ethyl lactate production than S. cerevisiae (AR5), while Kluyveromyces marxianus (GRO6) produced more isobutanol and ethyl-acetate than S. cerevisiae (AR5). The level of volatile compounds at the end of fermentation was compared with the tequila standard regulation. All volatile compounds were within the allowed range except for methanol, which was higher for S. cerevisiae (AR5) and K. marxianus (GRO6). The variations in methanol may have been caused by the Agave tequilana used for the tests, since this compound is not synthesized by these yeasts.