Impact of Yeast Nutrient Supplementation Strategies on Hydrogen Sulfide Production during Cider Fermentation

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Virginia Tech

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), is a negative off aroma produced during yeast fermentation and is common in cider and leads to consumer rejection. H2S has a very low odor detection threshold (ODT) and is often described as "rotten egg". H2S is produced when juice is deficient in yeast nutrients, such as amino acids and yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN), which is a common problem in apples since they naturally low in nutrients. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of yeast nutrient addition to cider fermentation by adding four different nitrogen-rich supplements and evaluating the effects on H2S production, fermentation kinetics, and aroma quality during cider. Three yeast strains (M2, EC1118 and ICV OKAY), four yeast nutrients (Fermaid K, Fermaid O, Experimental Nutrient, and DAP) and single addition versus split addition of nutrient were tested. For single addition, all nutrient was added pre-fermentation and for split additions, the first addition was pre-fermentation and the second at one-third total soluble solid (TTS) depletion as measured by °Brix. Sensory evaluation was conducted on selected treatments. The greatest H2S was produced by M2 yeast strain (525 .63 ± 53.31 µg mL-1) while the least H2S on average was produced by EC1118 (118.26 ± 26.33 µg mL-1) and ICV OKAY produced an intermediate amount of H2S (209.26 ± 31.63 µg mL-1). Significant differences were observed between treatments and total H2S production within yeast strains. Yeast strain had the largest effect on H2S production. The second largest effect was yeast nutrient type. Classical text analysis of descriptions of cider aroma were evaluated and 25 attributes were chosen to describe the ciders. Check- all-that-apply (CATA), a rapid sensory technique that askes panelists, revealed that there was no clear pattern between variables tested. This work demonstrates that yeast nutrient type and yeast strain affect H2S production during cider fermentation. These findings provide a basis for improving the effectiveness of strategies used to prevent H2S production in cider fermentation.

hard cider, hydrogen sulfide, yeast nutrients, sensory descriptors