Survival and metabolism of hydroxycinnamic acids by Dekkera bruxellensis in monovarietal wines

Adriana Nunes de Lima, Rui Magalhães, Francisco Manuel Campos, José António Couto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Volatile phenols in wines are responsible for unpleasant aromas, which negatively affect the quality of the wine. These compounds are produced from the metabolism of hydroxycinnamic acids, mainly by the yeasts Brettanomyces/Dekkera. Relevant data, potentially useful to support decisions on how to manage the risk of contamination of wines by Brettanomyces/Dekkera, according to the grape varieties used in the vinification, is important to the wine industry. Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate the survival and the metabolism of hydroxycinnamic acids by Dekkera bruxellensis in monovarietal wines. Yeast growth and survival were monitored in fifteen wines, five from each of the grape varieties Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, inoculated with a strain of D. bruxellensis. Yeast culturable populations of 107 CFU mL−1 were reduced to undetectable numbers in 24 h in all wines. Plate counts of 104–106 CFU mL−1 were, however, detected after 48 h in most of Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon wines and later in Syrah. Viability measurement by flow cytometry showed that a significant part of the populations was in a viable but non-culturable state (VBNC). The time required for the recovery of the culturable state was dependent on the wine, being longer on Syrah wines. Besides the production of ethylphenols, the metabolism of hydroxycinnamic acids by VBNC cells led to the accumulation of vinylphenols at relatively high levels, independently of the grape variety. The flow cytometry methodology showed a higher survival capacity of D. bruxellensis in Touriga Nacional wines, which corroborates with the higher amounts of volatile phenols found on this variety.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103617
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFood Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Brettanomyces/dekkera
  • Flow cytometry
  • Monovarietal
  • Volatile phenols
  • Wine


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