Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fermentation of cocoa beans requires precise collaboration among 2 bacteria, and yeast

11.06.2014

Good chocolate is among the world's most beloved foods, which is why scientists are seeking to improve the product, and enhance the world's pleasure.

A team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland—the heartland of fine chocolate—have embarked upon a quest to better understand natural cocoa fermentation and have published findings ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

"Our studies have unraveled the metabolism of the rather unexplored acetic acid bacteria in the complex fermentation environment," says corresponding author Christoph Wittmann of Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany

In the study, Wittmann and his collaborators from the Nestle Research Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland, simulated cocoa pulp fermentation in the laboratory. They mapped metabolic pathway fluxes of the acetic acid bacteria, feeding them specific isotopes that could easily be tracked. Wittmann compares the process to viewing the flows of city traffic from the sky.

"We could see what they eat and how they use the nutrients to fuel the different parts of their metabolism in order to grow and produce extracellular products," he says.

The key molecule to initiate flavor development is acetate, says Wittmann, noting that "The intensity of the aroma from a fermented bean is amazing."

Production of acetate requires two major nutrients: lactate and ethanol. These are produced by lactic acid bacteria, and yeast, respectively, during the initial fermentation of cocoa pulp sugars, says Wittmann.

The acetic acid bacteria then process these simultaneously, via separate metabolic pathways, ultimately producing acetate from them.

"This discovery reveals a fine-tuned collaboration of a multi-species consortium during cocoa fermentation," says Wittman. And that may help improve selection of natural strains for better-balanced starter cultures.

###

The manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip0614b. The final version of the article is scheduled for the August 2014 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

Jim Sliwa | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Environmental Fermentation bacteria beans cocoa metabolic metabolism nutrients

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Activating genes on demand
05.03.2015 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Big box stores could ditch the grid, use natural gas fuel cells instead
05.03.2015 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

70 Nobel laureates and 672 young scientists expected at Lindau

04.03.2015 | Event News

Registration open: 11th X-ray Forum for Customers of GE’s Digital Radiography and Industrial CT Inspection Technologies

04.03.2015 | Event News

ΣYSTEMS INTEGRATION in Finland focusses on high-tech printing

04.03.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Strength in numbers

05.03.2015 | Information Technology

New CMI Process Recycles Valuable Rare Earth Metals From Old Electronics

05.03.2015 | Process Engineering

Genetic Data Can Help Predict How Pine Forests Will Cope with Climate Change

05.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>