Journal of food science

Malolactic fermentation and secondary metabolite production by Oenoccocus oeni strains in low pH wines.

PMID 22924897


Different wine varieties, including some with low pH, were studied to determine the ability to grow and produce secondary metabolites of a previously selected autochthonous Oenococcus oeni strain (C22L9), compared with a commercial strain. Monitoring of malolactic fermentation (MLF) was carried out by microbiological and chemical analysis of wines. The concentration of some major volatile compounds and biogenic amines in wines before and after malolactic fermentation was also determined. The results showed major differences in MLF duration both between wines and strains, although the differences between strains were slight for most of the analyzed compounds. Statistically significant differences in citric acid degradation were found in all wine varieties and it was confirmed that O. oeni C22L9 is a poor degrader of citric acid; this means that MLF can be prolonged without the risk of producing high concentrations of diacetyl and acetoin. Sensory analysis of wines after MLF showed similar characteristics in wines from both strains. This study thus shows that O. oeni C22L9 possesses even better sensory and fermentation properties than the commercial strain and can be used in wines with different characteristics, which makes it highly valuable for industrial use. The increasingly use of grape varieties of low pH in winemaking and the higher alcohol content of wines, as a consequence of the climatic change, make interesting the study of the behavior during MLF of O. oeni strains in order to determine their ability to grow, when growth conditions are not optimal, and to produce secondary metabolites. A comparative study was conducted using an autochthonous O. oeni strain (C22L9) and a commercial O. oeni strain and 4 wine varieties.