Advertisement

Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 1133–1144 | Cite as

Very high gravity (VHG) ethanolic brewing and fermentation: a research update

  • Pradeep Puligundla
  • Daniela Smogrovicova
  • Vijaya Sarathi Reddy Obulam
  • Sanghoon Ko
Review

Abstract

There have been numerous developments in ethanol fermentation technology since the beginning of the new millennium as ethanol has become an immediate viable alternative to fast-depleting crude reserves as well as increasing concerns over environmental pollution. Nowadays, although most research efforts are focused on the conversion of cheap cellulosic substrates to ethanol, methods that are cost-competitive with gasoline production are still lacking. At the same time, the ethanol industry has engaged in implementing potential energy-saving, productivity and efficiency-maximizing technologies in existing production methods to become more viable. Very high gravity (VHG) fermentation is an emerging, versatile one among such technologies offering great savings in process water and energy requirements through fermentation of higher concentrations of sugar substrate and, therefore, increased final ethanol concentration in the medium. The technology also allows increased fermentation efficiency, without major alterations to existing facilities, by efficient utilization of fermentor space and elimination of known losses. This comprehensive research update on VHG technology is presented in two main sections, namely VHG brewing, wherein the effects of nutrients supplementation, yeast pitching rate, flavour compound synthesis and foam stability under increased wort gravities are discussed; and VHG bioethanol fermentation studies. In the latter section, aspects related to the role of osmoprotectants and nutrients in yeast stress reduction, substrates utilized/tested so far, including saccharide (glucose, sucrose, molasses, etc.) and starchy materials (wheat, corn, barley, oats, etc.), and mash viscosity issues in VHG bioethanol production are detailed. Thereafter, topics common to both areas such as process optimization studies, mutants and gene level studies, immobilized yeast applications, temperature effect, reserve carbohydrates profile in yeast, and economic aspects are discussed and future prospects are summarized.

Keywords

Very high gravity (VHG) Brewing Ethanol fermentation Nutrient supplementation Starch substrates Immobilization Optimization studies 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The present work was supported by the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, through Major Research Project (MRP) grant, and the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic VEGA 1/0096/11.

References

  1. 1.
    Bafrncová P, Šmogrovičová D, Sláviková I, Pátková J, Dömény Z (1999) Improvement of very high gravity ethanol fermentation by media supplementation using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biotechnol Lett 21:337–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bai FW (2007) Process oscillations in continuous ethanol fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PhD thesis, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bai FW, Anderson WA, Moo-Young M (2008) Ethanol fermentation technologies from sugar and starch feedstocks. Biotechnol Adv 26:89–105PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bai FW, Chen LJ, Anderson WA, Moo-Young M (2004) Parameter oscillations in very high gravity medium continuous ethanol fermentation and their attenuation on multi-stage packed column bioreactor system. Biotechnol Bioeng 88:558–566PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bajaj BK, Taank V, Thakur RL (2005) Potential industrial applications of yeast capable of fermenting high gravity cane molasses despite physiological stress. Indian J Biotechnol 4:149–152Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Baks T (2007) Process development for gelatinisation and enzymatic hydrolysis of starch at high concentrations. Thesis, Wageningen University, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bayrock DP, Ingledew WM (2001) Application of multi-stage continuous fermentation for production of fuel alcohol by very-high gravity fermentation technology. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 27:87–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Belcher A (2005) The world looks to higher-tech to advance fuel ethanol production into the 21st century. Int Sugar J 107(1275):196–199Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Blieck L, Toye G, Dumortier F, Verstrepen KJ, Delvaux FR, Thevelein JM, Van Dijck P (2007) Isolation and characterization of brewer’s yeast variants with improved fermentation performance under high gravity conditions. Appl Environ Microbiol 73:815–824PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Breisha GZ (2010) Production of 16% ethanol from 35% sucrose. Biomass Bioenerg 34:1243–1249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brey SE, De Costa S, Rogers PJ, Bryce JH, Morris PC, Mitchell WJ, Stewart GG (2003) The effects of proteinase A on foam-active polypeptides during high and low gravity fermentation. J Inst Brew 109:194–202Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bvochora JM, Read JS, Zvauya R (2000) Application of very high gravity technology to the cofermentation of sweet stem sorghum juice and sorghum grain. Ind Crop Prod 11:11–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Casey GP, Ingledew WM (1986) Ethanol tolerance in yeasts. CRC Crit Rev Biotechnol 13:219–280Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Casey GP, Magnus CA, Ingledew WM (1983) High gravity brewing: nutrient enhanced production of high concentrations of ethanol by brewing yeast. Biotechnol Lett 5:429–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Casey GP, Magnus CA, Ingledew WM (1984) High-gravity brewing: effects of nutrition on yeast composition, fermentative ability, and alcohol production. Appl Environ Microbiol 48:639–646PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cooper DJ, Stewart GG, Bryce JH (2000) Yeast proteolytic activity during high and low gravity wort fermentations and its effect on head retention. J Inst Brew 106:197–201Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    D’Amore T, Crumplen R, Stewart GG (1991) The involvement of trehalose in yeast stress tolerance. J Ind Microbiol 7:191–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Debourg A (2010) Yeast management and high gravity fermentation. Cerevisia 35:16–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Devantier R, Pedersen S, Olsson L (2005) Characterization of very high gravity ethanol fermentation of corn mash. Effect of glucoamylase dosage, pre-saccharification and yeast strain. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 68:622–629PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Devantier R, Scheithauer B, Villas-Boas SG, Pedersen S, Olsson L (2005) Metabolite profiling for analysis of yeast stress response during very high gravity ethanol fermentations. Biotechnol Bioeng 90:703–714PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dihazi H, Kessler R, Eschrich K (2004) High osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway-induced phosphorylation and activation of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase are essential for glycerol accumulation and yeast cell proliferation under hyperosmotic stress. J Biol Chem 279:23961–23968PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dragone G, Mussatto SI, Almeida e Silva JB (2007) High gravity brewing by continuous process using immobilised yeast: effect of wort original gravity on fermentation performance. J Inst Brew 113:391–398Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dragone G, Mussatto SI, Almeida e Silva JB (2008) Influence of temperature on continuous high gravity brewing with yeasts immobilized on spent grains. Eur Food Res Technol 228:257–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dragone G, Silva DP, De Almeida E Silva JB, De Almeida Lima U (2003) Improvement of the ethanol productivity in a high gravity brewing at pilot plant scale. Biotechnol Lett 25:1171–1174Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Erten H, Tanguler H, Cakiroz H (2007) The effect of pitching rate on fermentation and flavor compounds in high gravity brewing. J Inst Brew 113:75–79Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gao C, Wang Z, Liang Q, Qi Q (2010) Global transcription engineering of brewer’s yeast enhances the fermentation performance under high-gravity conditions. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 87:1821–1827PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gibreel A, Sandercock JR, Lan J, Goonewardene LA, Zijlstra RT, Curtis JM, Bressler DC (2009) Fermentation of barley by using Saccharomyces cerevisiae: examination of barley as a feedstock for bioethanol production and value-added products. Appl Environ Microbiol 75:1363–1372PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Guimaraes PMR, Londesborough J (2008) The adenylate energy charge and specific fermentation rate of brewer’s yeasts fermenting high and very high-gravity worts. Yeast 25:47–58PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hackstaff BW (1978) Various aspects of high gravity brewing. Master Brew Assoc Am Tech Q 15:1–7Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ingledew WM (2005) Improvements in alcohol technology through advancements in fermentation technology. Getreidetechnologie 59:308–311Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ingledew WM, Thomas KC, Hynes SH, McLeod JG (1999) Viscosity concerns with rye mashes used for ethanol production. Cereal Chem 76:459–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jakobsen M, Piper JU (1989) Performance and osmotolerance of different strains of lager yeast in high gravity fermentation. MBAA Tech Quart 26:56–61Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    James TC, Usher J, Campbell S, Bond U (2008) Lager yeasts possess dynamic genomes that undergo rearrangements and gene amplification in response to stress. Curr Genet 53:139–152PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jones AM, Ingledew WM (1994) Fuel alcohol production: optimization of temperature for efficient very-high-gravity fermentation. Appl Environ Microbiol 60:1048–1051PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Jones AM, Thomas KC, Ingledew WM (1994) Ethanolic fermentation of blackstrap molasses and sugarcane juice using very high gravity technology. J Agric Food Chem 42:1242–1246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Laopaiboon L, Nuanpeng S, Srinophakun P, Klanrit P, Laopaiboon P (2009) Ethanol production from sweet sorghum juice using very high gravity technology: effects of carbon and nitrogen supplementations. Bioresour Technol 18:4176–4182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Lin YH, Bayrock DP, Ingledew WM (2002) Evaluation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown in a multi-stage chemostat environment under increasing levels of glucose. Biotechnol Lett 24:449–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Lin YH, Chien WS, Duan KJ (2010) Correlations between reduction–oxidation potential profiles and growth patterns of Saccharomyces cerevisiae during very-high-gravity fermentation. Process Biochem 45:765–770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lin YH, Chien WS, Duan KJ, Chang PR (2011) Effect of aeration timing and interval during very-high-gravity ethanol fermentation. Process Biochem. doi: 10.1016/j.procbio.2011.01.003
  40. 40.
    Majara M, O’Connor-Cox ESC, Axcell BC (1996) Trehalose: an osmoprotectant and stress indicator compound in high and very high gravity brewing. J Am Soc Brew Chem 54:149–154Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mizuno A, Tabei H, Iwahuti M (2006) Characterization of low-acetic-acid-producing yeast isolated from 2-deoxyglucose-resistant mutants and its application to high-gravity brewing. J Biosci Bioeng 101:31–37PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Montanari L, Floridi S, Marconi O, Tironzelli M, Fantozzi P (2005) Effect of mashing procedures on brewing. Eur Food Res Technol 221:175–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Munroe JH (1995) Fermentation. In: Hardwick WA (ed) Handbook of brewing, 1st edn. Marcel Dekkar, New York, pp 323–353Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Najafpour G, Younesi H, Ismail KSK (2004) Ethanol fermentation in an immobilized cell reactor using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bioresour Technol 92:251–260PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Nguyen TH, Viet Man LV (2009) Using high pitching rate for improvement of yeast fermentation performance in high gravity brewing. Int Food Res J 16:547–554Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Norton S, D’Amore T (1994) Physiological effects of yeast cell immobilization: applications for brewing. Enzyme Microb Technol 16:365–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Norton S, Watson K, D’Amore T (1995) Ethanol tolerance of immobilized brewers’ yeast cells. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 43:18–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Nuanpeng S, Laopaiboon L, Srinophakun P, Klanrit P, Jaisil P, Laopaiboon P (2011) Ethanol production from sweet sorghum juice under very high gravity conditions: batch, repeated-batch and scale up fermentation. Elect J Biotechnol 14(1). doi: 10.2225/vol14-issue1-fulltext-2
  49. 49.
    Panchal CJ, Stewart GG (1980) The effect of osmotic pressure on the production and excretion of ethanol and glycerol by a brewing yeast strain. J Inst Brew 86:207–210Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Patkova J, Smogrovicova D, Bafrncova P, Domeny Z (2000) Changes in the yeast metabolism at very high gravity wort fermentation. Folia Microbiol 45:335–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Patkova J, Smogrovicova D, Domeny Z, Bafrncova P (2000) Very high gravity wort fermentation by immobilised yeast. Biotechnol Lett 22:1173–1177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Pereira FB, Guimarães PMR, Teixeira JA, Domingues L (2010) Optimization of low-cost medium for very high gravity ethanol fermentations by Saccharomyces cerevisiae using statistical experimental designs. Bioresour Technol 101:7856–7863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Pham TK, Chong PK, Gan CS, Wright PC (2006) Proteomic analysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae under high gravity fermentation conditions. J Proteome Res 5:3411–3419PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Pham TNL, Doan NHD, Le VVM (2010) Using fed-batch fermentation in very high gravity brewing: effects of Tween 80 and ergosterol supplementation on fermentation performance of immobilized yeast in calcium alginate gel. Int Food Res J 17:995–1002Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Pradeep P, Goud GK, Reddy OVS (2010) Optimization of very high gravity (VHG) finger millet (ragi) medium for ethanolic fermentation by yeast. Chiang Mai J Sci 37:116–123Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Puligundla P, Poludasu RM, Rai JK, Obulam VSR (2011) Repeated batch ethanolic fermentation of very high gravity medium by immobilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ann Microbiol. doi: 10.1007/s13213-011-0207-8
  57. 57.
    Pradeep P, Reddy OVS (2008) Effect of supplementation of malted cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) flour in the enhancement of yeast cell viability and ethanol production in VHG fermentation. Asian J Microbiol Biotech Env Sc 10:767–772Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Pradeep P, Reddy OVS (2010) High gravity fermentation of sugarcane molasses to produce ethanol: Effect of nutrients. Indian J Microbiol 50:82–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Quain DE, Tubb RS (1982) The importance of glycogen in brewing yeasts. Master Brew Assoc Am Tech Quart 19:29–33Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Rautio JJ, Huuskonen A, Vuokko H, Vidgren V, Londesborough J (2007) Monitoring yeast physiology during very high gravity wort fermentations by frequent analysis of gene expression. Yeast 24:741–760PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Reddy LVA, Reddy OVS (2005) Improvement of ethanol production in very high gravity (VHG) fermentation by horse gram (Dolichos biflorus) flour supplementation. Lett Appl Microbiol 41:440–444PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Reddy LVA, Reddy OVS (2006) Rapid and enhanced production of ethanol in very high gravity (VHG) sugar fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae: role of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) flour. Process Biochem 41:726–729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Saerens SMG, Verbelen PJ, Vanbeneden N, Thevelein JM, Delvaux FR (2008) Monitoring the influence of high-gravity brewing and fermentation temperature on flavor formation by analysis of gene expression levels in brewing yeast. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 80:1039–1051PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Sigler K, Matoulková D, Dienstbier M, Gabriel P (2009) Net effect of wort osmotic pressure on fermentation course, yeast vitality, beer flavor, and haze. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 82:1027–1035PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Silva DP, Branyik T, Dragone G, Vicente AA, Teixeira JA, Almeida e Silva JB (2008) High gravity batch and continuous processes for beer production: evaluation of fermentation performance and beer quality. Chem Pap 62:34–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Smogrovicova D, Patkova J, Domeny Z, Navratil M (2000) Improvement in beer fermentation under very high gravity conditions by entrapped yeast. Minerva Biotecnol 12:331–336Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Srichuwong S, Fujiwara M, Wang X, Seyama T, Shiroma R, Arakane M, Mukojima N, Tokuyasu K (2009) Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of very high gravity (VHG) potato mash for the production of ethanol. Biomass Bioenerg 33:890–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Srikanta S, Jaleel SA, Ghildyal NP, Lonsane BK (2006) Techno-economic feasibility of ethanol production from fresh cassava tubers in comparison to dry cassava chips. Food/Nahrung 36:253–258Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Stewart GG, D’Amore T, Panchal CJ, Russell I (1988) Factors that influence the ethanol tolerance of brewer’s yeast strains during high gravity wort fermentations. MBAA Tech Quart 25:47–53Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Suihko ML, Vilpola A, Linko M (1993) Pitching rate in high gravity brewing. J Inst Brew 99:341–346Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Szajani B, Buzas Z, Dallmann K, Gimesi I, Krisch J, Tath M (1996) Continuous production of ethanol using yeast cells immobilized in preformed cellulose beads. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 46:122–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Theerarattananoon K, Lin YH, Peng DY (2008) Metabolic heat evolution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown under very-high-gravity conditions. Process Biochem 43:1253–1258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Thomas KC, Dhas A, Rossnagel BG, Ingledew WM (1995) Production of fuel alcohol from hull-less barley by very high gravity technology. Cereal Chem 72:360–364Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Thomas KC, Hynes SH, Ingledew WM (1994) Effects of particulare materials and osmoprotectants on very-high-gravity ethanolic fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Appl Environ Microbiol 60:1519–1524PubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Thomas KC, Hynes SH, Ingledew WM (1996) Practical and theoretical considerations in the production of high concentrations of alcohol by fermentation. Process Biochem 31:321–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Thomas KC, Hynes SH, Jones AM, Ingledew WM (1993) Production of fuel alcohol from wheat by VHG technology: effect of sugar concentration and fermentation temperature. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 43:211–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Thomas KC, Ingledew WM (1990) Fuel alcohol production: effects of free amino nitrogen on fermentation of very-high gravity wheat mashes. Appl Environ Microbiol 56:2046–2050PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Thomas KC, Ingledew WM (1992) Production of 21% (v/v) ethanol by fermentation of very high gravity (VHG) wheat mashes. J Ind Microbiol 10:61–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Thomas KC, Ingledew WM (1995) Production of fuel alcohol from oats by fermentation. J Ind Microbiol 15:125–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Verbelen PJ, Mulders SV, Saison D, Laere SV, Delvaux F, Delvaux FR (2008) Characteristics of high cell density fermentations with different lager yeast strains. J Inst Brew 114:127–133Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Verbelen PJ, Schutter DPD, Delvaux F, Verstrepen KJ, Delvaux FR (2006) Immobilized yeast cell systems for continuous fermentation application. Biotechnol Lett 28:1515–1525PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Viegas CA, Sá-Correia I, Novais JM (1985) Nutrient-enhanced production of remarkably high concentrations of ethanol by Saccharomyces bayanus through soy flour supplementation. Appl Environ Microbiol 50:1333–1335PubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Virkajarvi I, Vainikka M, Virtanen H, Home S (2002) Productivity of immobilized yeast reactors with very-high-gravity worts. J Am Soc Brew Chem 60:188–197Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Wang FQ, Gao CJ, Yang CY, Xu P (2007) Optimization of an ethanol production medium in very high gravity fermentation. Biotechnol Lett 29:233–236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Wang S, Thomas KC, Sosulski K, Ingledew WM (1999) Grain pearling and very high gravity (VHG) fermentation technologies for fuel alcohol production from rye and triticale. Process Biochem 34:421–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Wu X, Wang D, Bean SR, Wilson JP (2006) Ethanol production from pearl millet by using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Paper No. 067077, 2006 ASABE annual international meeting, Portland, OregonGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Yingling B, Zongcheng Y, Honglin W, Li C (2011) Optimization of bioethanol production during simultaneous saccharification and fermentation in very high-gravity cassava mash. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 99:329–339PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Zhang L, Chen Q, Jin Y, Xue H, Guan J, Wang Z, Zhao H (2010) Energy-saving direct ethanol production from viscosity reduction mash of sweet potato at very high gravity (VHG). Fuel Process Technol 91:1845–1850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Zhang L, Zhao H, Gan M, Jin Y, Gao X, Chen Q, Guan J, Wang Z (2011) Application of simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) from viscosity reducing of raw sweet potato for bioethanol production at laboratory, pilot and industrial scales. Bioresour Technol 102:4573–4579PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pradeep Puligundla
    • 1
  • Daniela Smogrovicova
    • 3
  • Vijaya Sarathi Reddy Obulam
    • 2
  • Sanghoon Ko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologySejong UniversityGwangjin-gu, SeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistrySri Venkateswara UniversityTirupatiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biochemical Technology, Institute of Biotechnology and Food ScienceSlovak University of TechnologyBratislavaSlovak Republic

Personalised recommendations