Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 112, Issue 8, pp 1177–1187 | Cite as

Sugarcane must fed-batch fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae: impact of sterilized and non-sterilized sugarcane must

  • Maria Letícia Bonatelli
  • Jaciane Lutz IenczakEmail author
  • Carlos Alberto Labate
Original Paper


The presence of microbial contaminants is common in the sugarcane ethanol industry and can decrease process yield, reduce yeast cell viability and induce yeast cell flocculation. To evaluate the effect of microbial contamination on the fermentation process, we compared the use of sterilized and non-sterilized sugarcane must in the performance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with similar fermentation conditions to those used in Brazilian mills. Non-sterilized sugarcane must had values of 103 and 108 CFU mL−1 of wild yeast and bacterial contamination, respectively; decreased total reducing sugar (TRS); and increased lactic and acetic acids, glycerol and ethanol concentrations during storage. During fermentation cycles with sterilized and non-sterilized sugarcane must, S. cerevisiae viability did not change, whereas ethanol yield varied from 74.1 to 80.2%, but it did not seem to be related to must microbial contamination. Ethanol productivity decreased throughout the fermentation cycles and was more pronounced in the last two fermentation cycles with non-sterilized must, but that may be related to the decrease in must TRS. High values of the ratio of total acid production per ethanol were reported at the end of the last two fermentation cycles conducted with non-sterilized must. Additionally, the values of wild yeast contamination increased from 102 to 103 CFU mL−1 and bacterial contamination increased from 104 to 106 CFU mL−1 when comparing the first and last fermentation cycles with non-sterilized must. In addition to the increase in microbial contamination and acid concentration, ethanol yield and yeast viability rates were not directly affected by the microbial contamination present in the non-sterilized sugarcane must.


Microbial contamination Fermentation Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sugarcane must 



The authors acknowledge the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory-CTBE/CNPEM and FAPESP for financial support to the scholarship to Maria Leticia Bonatelli (Proc. N.2013/08431-0).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Letícia Bonatelli
    • 1
  • Jaciane Lutz Ienczak
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carlos Alberto Labate
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of AgricultureUniversity of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering DepartmentSanta Catarina Federal UniversityFlorianópolisBrazil

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