Fermentation characteristics of yeasts isolated from traditionally fermented masau (Ziziphus mauritiana) fruits

L.K. Nyanga, M.J.R. Nout, E.J. Smid, C. Boekhout, M.H. Zwietering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Yeast strains were characterized to select potential starter cultures for the production of masau fermented beverages. The yeast species originally isolated from Ziziphus mauritiana (masau) fruits and their traditionally fermented fruit pulp in Zimbabwe were examined for their ability to ferment glucose and fructose using standard broth under aerated and non-aerated conditions. Most Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains were superior to other species in ethanol production. The best ethanol producing S. cerevisiae strains, and strains of the species Pichia kudriavzevii, Pichia fabianii and Saccharomycopsis fibuligera were tested for production of flavor compounds during fermentation of masau fruit juice. Significant differences in the production of ethanol and other volatile compounds during fermentation of masau juice were observed among and within the four tested species. Alcohols and esters were the major volatiles detected in the fermented juice. Trace amounts of organic acids and carbonyl compounds were detected. Ethyl hexanoate and ethyl octanoate were produced in highest amounts as compared to the other volatile compounds. S. cerevisiae strains produced higher amounts of ethanol and flavor compounds as compared to the other species, especially fatty acid ethyl esters that provide the major aroma impact of freshly fermented wines. The developed library of characteristics can help in the design of mixtures of strains to obtain a specific melange of product functionalities. Keywords: Masau juice; Fermentation; Yeast; Volatile compounds; Flavor; Wine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-432
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • saccharomyces-cerevisiae
  • volatile compounds
  • wine yeasts
  • immobilized cells
  • grape varieties
  • zimbabwe
  • strains
  • metabolism
  • acid
  • evolution


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