Yeasts with a high fructose consumption capability are very important for winemakers to solve problems associated with sluggish or stuck fermentations causing undesirable sweetness in wines. In the present study, we analyze the kinetics of glucose and fructose consumption during wine fermentations performed at low (12 °C) and high (28 °C) temperatures by twelve different yeast strains belonging to the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. bayanus var. uvarum, S. kudriavzevii as well as interspecific Saccharomyces hybrids. Different mathematical equations (sigmoid, exponential and linear decay functions) were used to fit, by means of linear and nonlinear regressions, the sugar degradation along the fermentative process. Temperature had an important influence on glucose and fructose consumption, and clearly different degradation profiles were observed at 12 and 28 °C. From the obtained equations, times to consume half and total of the initial glucose and fructose concentrations present in the must were calculated, allowing a quantitative comparison among yeasts in order to select the fastest fermentative yeast according to the fermentation temperature. In general, all yeasts assayed showed a slightly higher preference for glucose than fructose at both temperatures, confirming the glucophilic character of Saccharomyces wine yeasts. However, at low temperatures, some Saccharomyces yeasts showed a fructophilic character at the beginning of fermentation. This kind of studies can be very useful for the wine industry to select yeast strains with different glucose/fructose preferences. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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