On-line ultrasonic velocity monitoring of alcoholic fermentation kinetics

Pablo Resa; Luis Elvira; Francisco Montero de Espinosa; Ramón González; José Barcenilla
April 2009
Bioprocess & Biosystems Engineering;Apr2009, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p321
Academic Journal
Abstract  In this work, fundamental aspects on the ultrasonic velocity monitoring of alcoholic fermentations in synthetic broths (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and natural media (must and wort) are reported. Results are explained in terms of monosaccharide catabolism, polysaccharide hydrolysis, gas production and microorganism growth. The effect of each one of these subprocesses upon ultrasonic velocity has been independently studied. It is shown that, regarding the sound propagation, the simplest systems behave as ternary dissolutions of sugar and ethanol in water, where, in the course of time, substrates are transformed into metabolites according to the fermentation reaction. A semi-empirical approach, based on the excess volume concept and the density and velocity measurements of binary mixtures, has been used to calculate these magnitudes in the ternary mixtures and to obtain the concentrations of the main solutes throughout the fermentations, reaching a good correlation (especially for the media of simplest composition). In all the processes analyzed, the data obtained from the ultrasonic measurements followed the changes caused by the yeast metabolism, asserting the potential of mechanical waves to monitor fermentations and, in general, biotechnological processes.


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