Saccharomyces yeast species are currently the most important yeasts involved in industrial-scale food fermentations. However, there are hundreds of other yeast species poorly studied that are highly promising for flavour development, some of which have also been identified in traditional food fermentations. This work explores natural yeast biodiversity in terms of aroma formation, with a particular focus on aromas relevant for industrial fermentations such as wine and beer. Several non-Saccharomyces species produce important aroma compounds such as fusel alcohols derived from the Ehrlich pathway, acetate esters and ethyl esters in significantly higher quantities than the well-known Saccharomyces species. These species are Starmera caribaea, Hanseniaspora guilliermondii, Galactomyces geotrichum, Saccharomycopsis vini and Ambrosiozyma monospora. Certain species revealed a strain-dependent flavour profile while other species were very homogenous in their flavour profiles. Finally, characterization of a selected number of yeast species using valine or leucine as sole nitrogen sources indicates that the mechanisms of regulation of the expression of the Ehrlich pathway exist amongst non-conventional yeast species.
- flavoring agents/metabolism
- gene expression profiling
- metabolic networks and pathways/genetics
- saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics