Aeration-Controlled Formation of Acid in Heterolactic Fermentations

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Controlled aeration of Leuconostoc mesenteroides was studied as a possible mechanism for control of the formation of acetic acid, a metabolite of major influence on the taste of lactic fermented foods. Fermentations were carried out in small scale in a medium in which growth was limited by the buffer capacity only. Ethanol and acetic acid formed during the fermentation were analyzed by rapid head space gas chromatography, and the ratio of the molar concentrations of these two volatiles quantitatively predicted the balance between the formation of acetic acid and lactic acid. The oxygen concentration during the fermentations decreased rapidly to zero, meaning that oxygen transfer was limited by the volumetric oxygen transfer rate, k1aC*. A linear correlation between k1aC* and the quantity of acetic acid produced was established, and it is suggested that such oxygenated heterolactic fermentation processes should be analyzed as fed-batch fermentations with oxygen as the limiting substrate. Addition of fructose in limited amounts leads to the formation of one half mole of acetic acid for each mole fructose, thus offering an alternative mechanism for controlling acetic acid formation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)335-343
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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