Brazilian fuel ethanol production from sugarcane is one of the largest industrial biotechnological processes in the world. However, in view of the complex chemical nature of this feedstock, as well as the non-aseptic conditions of the process, various stress conditions are imposed to the fermenting yeast. In this chapter, we deemed to elaborate a brief overview of the ethanol production process, and to dissect the chemical nature of sugarcane-based worts, as well as their physiological effects on the fermenting yeasts. Finally, the interplay between yeast and lactic acid bacteria, the two main players in the ethanol fermentation process, is generally discussed.
Part of the book: Fuel Ethanol Production from Sugarcane