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Improved Screening Method for the Selection of Wine Yeasts Based on Their Pigment Adsorption Activity

Andrea Caridi*

Department AGRARIA, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Feo di Vito, I-89122 Reggio Calabria, Italy

Article history:

Received September 24, 2011
Accepted July 13, 2012

Key words:

adsorption, pigment, screening method, yeast

Summary:

The aim of this research is to improve an existing low-cost and simple but consistent culturing technique for measuring the adsorption of grape skin pigments on yeasts, comprising: (i) growing yeasts in Petri dishes on chromogenic grape-skin-based medium, (ii) photographing the yeast biomass, (iii) measuring its red, green, and blue colour components, and (iv) performing the statistical analysis of the data. Twenty strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were grown on different lots of the chromogenic medium, prepared using grape skins from dark cultivars Greco Nero, Magliocco and Nero d’Avola. Microscale wine fermentation trials were also performed. Wide and significant differences among wine yeasts were observed. The chromogenic grape-skin-based medium can be prepared using any grape cultivar, thus allowing the specific selection of the most suitable strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for each grape must, mainly for red winemaking. The research provides a useful tool to characterize wine yeasts in relation to pigment adsorption, allowing the improvement of wine colour.


*Corresponding author:          acaridi@unirc.it
                                               +39 0965 680 578
                                               +39 0965 680 578

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