Aims: To understand the impact of assimilable nitrogen and pantothenic acid on fermentation rate and synthesis of volatile compounds by Saccharomyces under fermentative conditions.
Methods and results: A 2 x 3 factorial experimental design was employed with the concentrations of yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) (60 and 250 mg l(-1)) and pantothenic acid (10, 50 and 250 microg l(-1)) as variables. In media containing 250 microg l(-1) pantothenic acid, H2S production by two different species of Saccharomyces decreased when YAN was increased from 60 to 250 mg l(-1). Conversely, H2S production was significantly higher when the concentration of assimilable nitrogen was increased if pantothenic acid was deficient (10 or 50 microg l(-1)). Yeast synthesis of other volatile compounds were impacted by both assimilable nitrogen and pantothenic acid.
Conclusions: While growth and fermentative rate of Saccharomyces was more influenced by nitrogen than by pantothenic acid, complicated interactions exist between these nutrients that affect the synthesis of volatile compounds including H2S.
Significance and impact of the study: This study has important implications for the winemaking industry where a better understanding of the nutritional requirements of Saccharomyces is necessary to reduce fermentation problems and to improve final product quality.