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Interaction effects of lactic acid and acetic acid at different temperatures on ethanol production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae in corn mash


The combined effects of lactic acid and acetic acid on ethanol production by S. cerevisiae in corn mash, as influenced by temperature, were examined. Duplicate full factorial experiments (three lactic acid concentrations × three acetic acid concentrations) were performed to evaluate the interaction between lactic and acetic acids on the ethanol production of yeast at each of the three temperatures, 30, 34, and 37°C. Corn mash at 30% dry solids adjusted to pH 4 after lactic and acetic acid addition was used as the substrate. Ethanol production rates and final ethanol concentrations decreased (P<0.001) progressively as the concentration of combined lactic and acetic acids in the corn mash increased and the temperature was raised from 30 to 37°C. At 30°C, essentially no ethanol was produced after 96 h when 0.5% w/v acetic acid was present in the mash (with 0.5, 2, and 4% w/v lactic acid). At 34 and 37°C, the final concentrations of ethanol produced by the yeast were noticeably reduced by the presence of 0.3% w/v acetic acid and ≥2% w/v lactic acid. It can be concluded that, as in previous studies with defined media, lactic acid and acetic acid act synergistically to reduce ethanol production by yeast in corn mash. In addition, the inhibitory effects of combined lactic and acetic acid in corn mash were more apparent at elevated temperatures.

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Correspondence to Tara Graves.

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Graves, T., Narendranath, N.V., Dawson, K. et al. Interaction effects of lactic acid and acetic acid at different temperatures on ethanol production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae in corn mash. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 73, 1190–1196 (2007).

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  • Corn mash
  • Lactic acid
  • Acetic acid
  • Temperature
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Synergy