Catalogue of traditional fermented beverages of South America.
Fermentation is one of the oldest forms of food preservation in the world. In South America, most fermented beverages are nondairy products featuring several other food raw materials such as cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Generally, natural fermentations are carried out by yeast and lactic acid bacteria forming a complex microbiota that acts in cooperation. Yeast have a prominent role in the production of beverages, due to the ability to accumulate high levels of ethanol and to produce highly desirable aroma compounds, but lactic acid bacteria are particularly important in fermentation because they produce desirable acids, flavor compounds, and peptides that inhibit the growth of undesirable organisms. Among the South America beverages based on cereals and vegetables, the fermented beverages chicha, caxiri, cauim and champús, and cachaça, a fermented and distilled beverage, could be cited. Genetic and physiological analyses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains isolated from cachaça have been shown to present interesting traits for beer production, such as flocculation and production of aroma compounds, fundamental to high-quality beer. The study of these traditional beverages allows the identification of new microorganism strains displaying enhanced resistance or new flavor and aroma profiles that could lead to applications in several industries and ultimately new products.
- lactic acid bacteria
- fermented beverages
- South America
Alcoholic beverages have been consumed by mankind since ancient times. These products of fermented sugar-rich goods, namely, cereals, roots, and fruits, are present worldwide since the oldest records [1, 2]. In fact, several of mankind’s milestones, such as the dawn of agriculture, are closely linked with the production of some type of alcoholic beverages. Similar processes of fermentation emerged independently in many civilizations across the globe. Interestingly, the main players of the whole process are relatively few, mostly yeast from the
This chapter aims to contribute to a comprehensible analysis of the role of yeast and LAB on the production of fermented beverages from South America. The microbiological diversity associated with the fermentation of a wide diversity of raw materials, from sugarcane to cassava, as well as new potential biotechnological applications will be addressed.
1.1. Ethanol and lactic acid fermentation
1.1.1. Yeast diversity and metabolism
Yeast are unicellular fungi, being the simplest eukaryotes. Present in a great number of environments, yeast can be found not only in decomposing fruit, trees, and soils but also in commensal relationships with higher eukaryotes, humans included, and even saltwater. The high diversity of species, almost 1500 species have been described , is closely related to this wide distribution. Some of these yeast are adapted to extreme environments, such as high salt concentrations , low pH , or extremely cold temperatures [9, 10]. The genus
Yeast, as other heterotrophic organisms, have the anabolism coupled with catabolism. In one hand, the oxidation of organic molecules, as sugars, yields adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) that, in turn, is used as an energy resource for the cell. On the other hand, such organic molecules can also be used as building blocks or to generate intermediary compounds for the synthesis of other compounds, some of which with high commercial value.
The high diversity of environments where yeast can be found is closely related to the variety of carbon sources that can be used. Hexoses such as glucose, fructose, galactose, or mannose are the most common substrates, but some species can use pentoses like xylose or arabinose. Several industrial relevant species can metabolize disaccharides as maltose, lactose, or sucrose, and some, as
In order to use glucose as carbon source, first and foremost, yeast have to sense the presence of this sugar in the surrounding environment and then express the adequate proteins to transport it across the plasma membrane [15, 16]. Whenever glucose is sensed in the medium, changes in the cell proteome will occur. Several processes contribute to the overall change in enzymes levels, including alteration of mRNA translation rates, mRNA stability, or protein synthesis and/or degradation. However, the major response is the extensive upregulation of a large number of genes required for the metabolism of glucose, such as genes encoding glycolytic pathway enzymes, leading to the adaptation to the fermentative metabolism. Moreover, in genes encoding for proteins involved in the metabolism of alternative substrates, gluconeogenic and respiratory pathways are repressed strongly by glucose (for reviews, see [17, 18]). In
Following uptake by the hexose transporters, glucose enters the glycolytic pathway in order to be metabolized to pyruvate (Figure 1, steps from glucose to pyruvate), whereby the production of energy in the form of ATP is coupled to the generation of intermediates and reducing power in the form of NADH for biosynthetic pathways [21, 22]. The phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate, requiring ATP, is the initial step of glycolysis, by the action of the hexokinases (Hxk1/2p) and the glucokinase (Glk1p), which are linked to high-affinity glucose uptake. The glucose-6-phosphate is then isomerized to fructose-6-phosphate by the phosphoglucose isomerase, encoded by
These two resulting compounds can be interconverted, in a reversible way, by the action of the triosephosphate isomerase (Tpi1p). Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate is further metabolized to ultimately yield pyruvate, while some of the dihydroxyacetone phosphate follows gluconeogenesis. This step is fundamental for the osmotic and redox homoeostasis, as the dihydroxyacetone can be converted to glycerol yielding NAD+. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate is first oxidized by NAD+ and then phosphorylated under the catalysis of the 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Tdh1/2/3p). The resulting 1,3-diphosphoglycerate is, in turn, converted to 3-phosphoglycerate by the action of phosphoglycerate kinase (Pgk1p), yielding 1 molecule of ATP. The enzyme phosphoglycerate mutase (Pgm1p) promotes the relocation of the phosphate group from C3 to C2, allowing the dehydration by the enolase (Eno1/2 p), resulting in the phosphoenolpyruvate. Then the pyruvate kinase (Pyk1p) converts this highly energetic molecule to pyruvate, yielding a second molecule of ATP.
The pyruvate molecule can be further processed through different metabolic alternatives, the respiratory or the fermentative pathways (Figure 2). The selection of one of the route depends greatly on the expression or repression of some genes, which in turn are tightly regulated on the environmental conditions . The genus to which the yeast belongs also plays a role in the prevalence of one route over the other.
The fermentative pathway is particularly relevant to industry, as several important commodities are produced through this process (characteristic of particular organisms). In
Although most microorganisms ferment in the absence of oxygen, this is not always the case. Even if oxygen is available, high concentrations of sugars present in the environment will lead yeast to choose fermentation over respiration. This inhibition of aerobic metabolism if glucose is available, both in the presence or absence of oxygen, is denominated the Crabtree effect .
During aerobic respiration (Figure 3), acetyl-CoA is produced by the decarboxylation of the glycolytic pyruvate, by the action of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Then acetyl-CoA will enter the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, where it will be used to generate reducing equivalents, NADH and FADH2. These molecules will fuel the oxidative phosphorylation, through the highly conserved electron transport chain. Besides the production of reducing coenzymes, the TCA cycle provides intermediates to several other biochemical pathways, including the synthesis of amino acids and nucleotides (for reviews, see [22, 32]).
1.1.2. Lactic acid bacteria
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) constitute an ubiquitous and heterogeneous group capable of fermenting carbohydrate with the production of lactic acid as a major end product . LAB are found in diverse nutrient-rich habitats associated with plant and animal’s matter, as well as in respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genital tracts of humans [35, 36]. A typical LAB is Gram positive, present a GC content below 55%, generally nonsporulating, usually nonmotile, fastidious, catalase negative (pseudocatalase may occur in some LAB), aerotolerant, and acid tolerant . Taxonomic parameters have distributed LAB members into two phyla,
Usually, LAB members are nonpathogenic organisms with a reputed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status. The
184.108.40.206. Pathway of homolactic and heterolactic acid fermentation in LAB
LAB are able to live in the presence of oxygen; however, they obtain their energy by substrate-level phosphorylation. These bacteria do not present a functional respiratory system, as they lack the ability to synthesize cytochromes and porphyrins, key components of respiratory chains [45, 46]. Therefore, an important parameter used in the differentiation of the LAB species is the type of lactate fermentations: homofermentative and heterofermentative . As a general rule, homofermentative lactic acid bacteria use the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway (EMP pathway or glycolysis) to produce pyruvate, while heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria use the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). However, a third pathway, the Bifidum pathway, presents distinct reactions (Figure 4) [45, 46].
In the homofermentative lactate fermentation, as the name implies, the major end product generated is lactate. Initially, two ATP molecules are produced per mole of glucose via the oxidation of phosphoglyceraldehyde. In a second stage, NADH molecules resulting from the previous oxidative stage are used to reduce the pyruvate, forming lactate [45, 46]. The overall reaction is as follows:
Some representative homolactic LAB genera include
Conversely, in the heterofermentative lactate fermentation pathway, lactate is not the only end product; significant amounts of CO2 and ethanol, or acetate, are also produced. In this pathway, lactate is produced by the decarboxylation and isomerization reactions of the PPP. Glucose is oxidized to ribulose-5-phosphate that is isomerized to xylulose-5-phosphate, which in turn is cleaved to form phosphoglyceraldehyde and acetyl phosphate. The phosphoglyceraldehyde molecule is oxidized to pyruvate by reactions of glycolytic pathway, whereas the acetyl phosphate is reduced to ethanol [45, 46]. The overall reaction is as follows:
220.127.116.11. Bifidum pathway
The Bifidum pathway is a particular metabolic route found in
18.104.22.168. LAB—beverage industry applications
Over the years, LAB has been explored on a large scale in several food industry segments (processing of meats, vegetables, and beverages) occupying a central role in these niches [43, 48–50]. Withal, there are some reasons that explain their use in the food production industry. Among these are the following: the production of antimicrobial substances, which restricts the growth of harmful microorganisms, and the production of metabolites, which influences the nutritional, texture, and organoleptic qualities of the end products [36, 51]. Moreover, LAB have also been used as probiotics, which shows several potential health benefit . Thus, in general, LAB enhances the shelf life and microbial safety of end products . However, based on the microorganisms profile present in the raw material, their effects may be either beneficial or disadvantageous to the food processing. For instances, malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a secondary fermentation in wine normally carried out by LAB, especially by
2. Fermented beverages of South America
The traditional foods, mainly those produced by spontaneous fermentation, are present in the daily life of the population and play an important role in the cultural identity of different communities . Indigenous or traditional fermented foods refer to the products that, since the beginning of history, are an integral part of the diet and can be prepared in household or cottage industry, using simple techniques and equipments .
In South America, there are various traditional fermented beverages, mainly produced by fermentation of cereals, vegetables, and root tubers. Among these beverages could be cited the traditional beverages
|cassava, rice, peanuts||Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), ||Brazil|
LAB, other yeast
Ramos et al. (2010) investigated the microbiota involved in
For the preparation of beverages with other substrates, the procedure is similar to
Almeida et al. (2006) found LAB as the dominant microorganisms during
In Colombia, the beverage is produced by boiling the kernels of maize, for about 2 hours. Thereafter, the beans are cooled to room temperature, and then fruits,
In the Andean region, the most common maize
The production process of
In some Andean countries is produced the
In Ecuador, in addition to
|Volatile acidity||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||150.0|
|Total esters||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||200.0|
|Aldehydes||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||30.0|
|Total higher alcohols*||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||360.0|
|Furfural+HMF+||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||5.0|
|Methanol||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||20.0|
|Acrolein||mg/100mL anhydrous ethanol||5.0|
|Particles in suspension||-||Absent|
The main raw material for the production of
As important as the preparation of the medium is the preparation of microorganisms that will ferment the sugarcane juice, the so-called foot-of-vat. Traditionally,
After fermentation of sugarcane juice, the medium is taken to steel distillation columns (industrial
Alcohols are relatively stable to oxidation but can form significant amounts of aldehydes in the presence of phenol and water. Aldehydes are highly reactive and may oxidize to form the corresponding organic acid. Through esterification reactions, acids react with alcohols to form esters, which soften the odor of aldehydes, giving a pleasant odor to the
3. Yeast and LAB new potential applications
South America presents a wide variety of fermented and distilled beverages, which have several unique characteristics, greatly influenced by the fermentative metabolism of microorganisms. Therefore, those microorganisms present a large potential for utilization in the development of new beverages, or even in new biotechnological applications. In this context, several scientific works have focused in the isolation and characterization of such microorganisms [11, 86, 87].
3.1. Wild yeast
During fermentation, yeast and LAB cells are submitted to several stress factors, such as: high osmotic pressure and hydrostatic pressure, high concentrations of ethanol, anaerobic atmosphere, temperature, and nutrient limitation . Such pressures promote the genetic adaptation of the individuals, leading to the survival of only the fittest cells. The increasing number of such alterations will lead to changes in the fermentation subproducts, some of which contribute to the organoleptic properties of the final products. Consequently, some of those subproducts may contribute to improve the beverages and, in this way, increasing the diversification of this industrial niche. Furthermore, the utilization of microorganisms isolated from traditional products, as
Recently, wild yeast isolates from
3.2. Mixed fermentation yeast/LAB
Recently, our research group started a work to approach the utilization of both yeast and LAB in the fermentation of
In a study from another research group, a mixed fermentation of
Both studies show that the use of bacteria and yeast simultaneously in fermentation apparently does affect the growth of both cultures. Similarly, the ethanol production in these mixed fermentations was the same. Furthermore, the use of mixed fermentations appears to improve the aroma of both beer and
3.3. New spirits
Brazil is the country with the world's largest fruit production; however, there is a huge postharvest waste of raw material that generates losses to the farmer. Therefore, there is the necessity to develop new processes and products to reduce these losses. In this context, an alternative is the use of these fruits for the production of alcoholic beverages .
In a previous study, a research group developed a fermentation process from
In another study, it was evaluated the quality of fruit spirits produced through different treatments . Mango, grape, and passion fruit were used as raw materials, and the fermentation was performed using
As noted in these studies, alcoholic beverages obtained from tropical fruits were well accepted in sensory tests, demonstrating the potential application of these substrates in the production of new beverages.
Another study had as objective to obtain and characterize a new spirit from the fermentation of cheese whey. The cheese whey is a by-product of the dairy industry that has a high impact in the environment. The researchers used the yeast
From these studies, we can see distinct possibilities for the production of new beverages, by changing the yeast strain/species, or using blends of different microorganisms, such as yeast and LAB. Moreover, it is possible to use several different substrates for the production of these beverages, such as fruit and cheese whey.
Studies on South American beverages are scarce when compared to other beverages like wine, beer, or even sake. This is mainly due to years of neglect to research in these countries. Until recently, the economic difficulties of the South American countries prevented investments in scientific research. Nowadays, with the economic stability, these countries increased the scientific funding, and a new reality seems to arise. In this context, the understanding of the microorganisms present in typical South American beverages opens the door to the development of new technologies, contributing to the overall scientific and economic development of such countries. For example, the isolation of yeast in
The authors were supported by grants from the following Brazilian agencies: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais.