Transformation of citric acid to acetic acid, acetoin and diacetyl by wine making lactic acid bacteria.

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A decrease in citric acid and increases in acetic acid, acetoin and diacetyl were found in the test red wine after inoculation of intact cells of Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. lactosum ATCC 27307, a malo-lactic bacterium, grown on the malate plus citrate-medium. Citric acid in the buffer solution was transformed to acetic acid, acetoin and diacetyl in the pH range of 2 to 6 after inoculation with intact cells of this bacterial species. It was concluded that citric acid in wine making involving malolactic fermentation, at first, was converted by citrate lyase to acetic and oxaloacetic acids, and the latter was successively transformed by decarboxylation to pyruvic acid which was subsequently converted to acetoin, diacetyl and acetic acid. Both the activities of citrate lyase and acetoin formation from pyruvic acid in the dialyzed cellfree extract were optimal at pH 6.0. Divalent cations such as Mn2+, Mg2+, Co2+ and Zn2+ activated the citrate lyase. The citrate lyase was completely inhibited by EDTA, Hg2+ and Ag2+. The acetoin formation from pyruvic acid was significantly stimulated by thiamine pyrophosphate and CoCl2, and inhibited by oxaloacetic acid. Specific activities of the citrate lyase and acetoin formation were considerably variable among the six strains of malo-lactic bacteria examined. Some activities of irreversible reduction of diacetyl to acetoin were found in the cell-free extracts of four of the malolactic bacteria strains and the optimal pH was 6.0 for this activity of Leu. mesenteroides.


Agricultural and Biological Chemistry  

Agricultural and Biological Chemistry 49(7), 2147-2157, 1985 

Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry

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