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Research and development of a selection program on customized native yeasts for quality distilled spirits and fermented beverage production

Grant number: 16/21644-1
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: August 01, 2017 - June 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Cauré Barbosa Portugal
Grantee:Cauré Barbosa Portugal
Host Company:Smart Yeast - Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Ltda. - ME
City: Piracicaba
Associated researchers:André Ricardo Alcarde ; Felipe Pompeo de Camargo Jannuzzi ; Fernando Dini Andreote ; Luís Henrique Poleto Angeloni ; Luiz Lehmann Coutinho
Associated scholarship(s):17/16731-5 - Research and development of a selection program on customized native yeasts for quality distilled spirits and fermented beverage production, BP.PIPE


The beverage industry is one of the most promising of the Brazilian economy, including a broad network in growing consumer segments, and the development of innovative, added value products. Technology investments are increasingly guided by innovative approaches on fermentation processes for peculiar and more complex products. Recent studies denote the opportunities on accessing local microecosystems for the development of customized starter cultures, with representative yeasts adapted to those territorial and process intrinsic conditions. The use of native yeasts appears as an important factor in the characterization, origin protection and economical relevance of culturally important products, despite enhancing their commercial remarkable quality. Some examples have been widely demonstrated in traditionally winemaking countries, in addition to the beer industry, where there is a growing interest in the exploitation of yeasts from different bioprocesses for the production of specialty beverages. This kind of service in Brazil is still scarce, and the few existing proposals are diffuse and costly.Considering this context, our company proposes a systematic research to demonstrate the economic viability of a selection program to prospect native yeasts to be used as custom starters for the production of quality, innovative beverages. Cachaça will be used as model and reference for a yeast selection program because of the wide availability of raw material, and for representing a product with identity and cultural relevance. The goals of the proposal are to demonstrate the viability of using native yeast blend starter for the production of distinctive, quality cachaças, in addition to extrapolating the methodology to other processes.Sugarcane juice and fermenting must will be sampled in small businesses, and their microbial diversity profiles will be studied by molecular methods. Specific identification and characterization of the isolates will be done by rapid molecular biology methods, still to be adjusted at this stage. Physiological characterization of isolates will be performed in microculture systems, and the technological assays will consider those intrinsic characteristics of the target process. Those isolates will be considered in the yeast blend starters, and the production of cachaças will be carried out for further chemical and sensory analysis.Firstly, the results should generate knowledge about the microbiota linked to those particular territories, in addition to upkeeping a genetic bank to be maintained by the company. After characterizing those microorganisms, it will be possible to develop distinctive, quality products, highly related to those territorial and geographical traits. Additionally, the project aims to enable making beverages with typical sensory and chemical profiles, suitable for characterizing controlled appellations. The selection of yeasts will be the main economic activity of the company, both marketing customized starters and providing specialized consultancy services. The results will also support the product/service feasibility, whose applications shall be extrapolated to other processes, including wine and beer in the next steps. On the other hand, the yeast bank will be further explored according to their physio-technological profiles, enabling the commercial exploitation of new products. (AU)

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