Unveiling the Power of Sterols: Optimizing Wine Fermentation with Strategic Addition - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles International Journal of Food Microbiology Year : 2023

Unveiling the Power of Sterols: Optimizing Wine Fermentation with Strategic Addition

Giovana Girardi Piva
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  • PersonId : 1141962
Erick Casalta
Jean-Luc Legras
Martine Pradal
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  • PersonId : 1184629
Faïza Maçna
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  • PersonId : 1184630
David Moreira Ferreira
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  • PersonId : 1019384
Anne Julien Ortiz
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  • PersonId : 1019385
Virginie Galeote
Jean-Roch Mouret


Excessive grape must clarification can result in sluggish alcoholic fermentations and sometimes alcoholic stuck fermentations, because of the lack of sterols for the yeasts growth. To avoid this risk, addition of sterols (ergosterol or phytosterols) can be performed, resulting in higher Saccharomyces cerevisiae viability and shorter fermentation duration. However, no dedicated study was implemented to evaluate the efficiency of different strategies of sterol management (considering sterol type, added concentration and timing of addition) during wine fermentation. So, first, to evaluate whether the response of wine yeast strains to sterol nutrition was similar according to the type and the concentration of the sterol present in the initial must, it was studied the response of a set of 10 S. cerevisiae strains in a synthetic grape must with low, medium and high concentrations of ergosterol or phytosterols. Then, the impact of the timing of sterol addition was evaluated on 2 S. cerevisiae strains with opposite behaviours. This work confirmed previous results concerning the role of ergosterol and phytosterols but also revealed new findings in this field. At first, it was confirmed that ergosterol played an important role in improving the maintenance of viable cells towards the end of fermentation, particularly in sterols-limited situations, while phytosterols demonstrated an ability to reduce acetate and glycerol production. But, in a second part, our study sheds new light on the beneficial impact of sterol addition on amino acid assimilation in yeast, leading to an increase in maximum fermentation rate, biomass production and percentage of viable cells. However, the main novelty of this research work concerns the timing of ergosterol addition. This addition at the start of fermentation in a phytosterols-free synthetic must enabled faster fermentations, as well as higher fermentative aroma synthesis, compared to addition during stationary phase. Even if the impact of ergosterol additions were relatively similar for both strains tested, notable differences were found concerning amino acid assimilation and biomass production, suggesting differences in the regulation of nitrogen metabolism between both strains. These findings provide new insights into our understanding of sterol role in enological fermentation. It offers a basis for both the development of innovative strategies for sterol management and the selection of 71 wine yeast strains under sterol starvation.
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Dates and versions

hal-04185866 , version 1 (23-08-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04185866 , version 1


Giovana Girardi Piva, Erick Casalta, Jean-Luc Legras, Isabelle Sanchez, Martine Pradal, et al.. Unveiling the Power of Sterols: Optimizing Wine Fermentation with Strategic Addition. International Journal of Food Microbiology, In press. ⟨hal-04185866⟩
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