Two Novel Strains of Torulaspora delbrueckii Isolated from the Honey Bee Microbiome and Their Use in Honey Fermentation

Yeasts are ubiquitous microbes found in virtually all environments. Many yeast species can ferment sugar into ethanol and CO2, and humans have taken advantage of these characteristics to produce fermented beverages for thousands of years. As a naturally abundant source of fermentable sugar, honey has had a central role in such fermentations since Neolithic times. However, as beverage fermentation has become industrialized, the processes have been streamlined, including the narrow and almost exclusive usage of yeasts in the genus Saccharomyces for fermentation. We set out to identify wild honey- or honey-bee-related yeasts that can be used in honey fermentation. Here, we isolated two strains of Torulaspora delbrueckii from the gut of a locally collected honey bee. Both strains were able to ferment honey sugar into mead but failed to metabolize more than a modest amount of wort sugar in trial beer fermentations. Further, the meads fermented by the T. delbrueckii strains displayed better sensory characteristics than mead fermented by a champagne yeast. The combination of T. delbrueckii and champagne yeast strains was also able to rapidly ferment honey at an industrial scale. Thus, wild yeasts represent a largely untapped reservoir for the introduction of desirable sensory characteristics in fermented beverages such as mead.


Publication Date:
Mar 26 2018
Date Submitted:
Jul 01 2019
Pagination:
22
Citation:
Fermentation
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 Record created 2019-07-01, last modified 2019-08-05


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