Product and Microbial Population Kinetics During Balsamic-Styled Vinegar Production

30 Apr 2019

Balsamic-styled vinegar is a nutraceutical product obtained from a two-stage fermentation process of grape must. However, little is known about how fermentation conditions affect growth kinetics, bio-product development, population dynamics and the final product quality. As a result, the current study investigated the effect of fermentation temperature and inoculation strategy on the fermentation dynamics of Balsamic-styled vinegar production. A microbial consortium of non-Saccharomyces yeasts (n = 13) and acetic acid bacteria (n = 5) was tested at various fermentation temperatures (22 ?C, 28 ?C and a fluctuating temperature regimen). Different inoculation strategies (co-inoculation and sequential inoculation) were investigated, and population dynamics of the product selected due to a rapid fermentation period were confirmed using a 16S and 18S gene sequencing. A higher fermentation temperature (28 ?C) and co-inoculation strategy resulted in a shorter fermentation cycle, whilst the desired acetic acid concentration of 60 g/L was achieved within 38 days. 16S and 18S gene sequencing showed that 50.84% of Acetobacter species were abundant at the end of the fermentation cycle, while 40.18% bacteria were unculturable. The study provides a better understanding of how fermentation temperature and inoculation strategy affect the fermentation period, population dynamics and the growth kinetics of the microbial consortium during the production of Balsamic-styled vinegar.