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Fermentation strategies for control of complex malt beverage fermentation

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Title: Fermentation strategies for control of complex malt beverage fermentation
Author(s): Deoghare, Nazia Ajay
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Degree program: Master 's Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology
Specialisation: no specialization
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2022
The popularity of fermented beverages is on the rise due to signature flavours, associated health and nutritional benefits and a 100% natural label. Research in this sector is currently focused on industrial-scale production of traditional homemade fermented beverages such as Kombucha, Kefir and Kvass. To expand consumer choice beyond these traditional beverages and to provide more nutritional and flavor diversity, it is essential to develop novel products by using new microbial communities and new substrates. The industrial scale-up of fermented beverages produced using microbial communities is challenging as the flavour complexity and functionality of the beverage depends on the complex fermentation processes and interactions between the microbiota species. Fermentation systems that can separate the metabolic stages into separate fermentation steps would be needed to simplify and make the complex fermentation more efficient, scalable, and reliable. The aim of the thesis was to develop and compare different fermentation strategies to control the complex fermentation of previously isolated microbes to produce a bio-flavoured, low-alcohol, malt beverage with a signature fruity flavour and aroma. During the study, green-malt microbial species: Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saprochaete suaveolens were identified as significant contributors to the development of aroma and flavour compounds in the malt fermentates. Using the optimal cell concentration of the selected species, three different fermentation strategies: simultaneous inoculation, sequential inoculation and sequential fermentation were adopted to design five different fermentation systems. Cocktail blends of individual fermentates were also created and tested for flavour and aroma. All potential production methods were compared in contrast for parameters such as ease of operation, time-efficiency, flavour and aroma, and future scalability. The results showed that complex fermentation of the novel and low alcohol malt beverage could be controlled by selecting organoleptically significant microorganisms from the complex community, controlling the time and order of inoculation and using a stagewise or modular fermentation system. Sequential fermentation produced the desired low alcohol level and flavorful, fruity malt beverages. However, this system required centrifugation at each step and thus resulted in limited ease of operation. Sequential inoculation was an optimal and efficient method of controlling the fermentation since it required a single vessel, and the metabolic stages were separated by inoculating microorganisms sequentially with a 24 h time interval between each inoculation. Creating cocktail blends from individual fermentates also produced bioflavoured, fruity, aromatic, low alcohol malt beverages. This method was time-efficient with maximum ease of operation. The resulting beverages from these different fermentation systems were novel and had fruity flavours and aroma from the metabolites synthesized by organisms S. suaveolens, L. plantarum and S. cerevisiae. Thus, bio-flavoured, low-alcohol, malt beverages with signature fruity flavour and aroma were created at VTT. For the first time S. suaveolens was used in combination with L. plantarum and S. cerevisiae for beverage production using novel three-microbe fermentation systems to control complex fermentation.
Keyword(s): Saprochaete suaveolens Lactiplantibacillus plantarum complex fermentation bio-flavour low-alcohol beverage

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