Did you know this YEASTerday: The Sugar Complexity of Dextrose and Starch Affects Carbon Dioxide Production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Lily Harrel, Chloe Scheitzach, Liezel Spinks, Alyssa Trevino, Adriana Townsend


Saccharomyces cerevisiae, baker’s yeast, has an important role when it comes to biofuels. Acme Brewing and Baking (AB&B), are searching for different sugars that maximize carbon dioxide production in yeast fermentation. Our group predicted that there would be more carbon dioxide production from the simple sugars because the sugar is easier to breakdown and there is more time for the yeast fermentation. In our experiment we tested two different sugars, dextrose and starch, and conducted five trials per sugar. We added a sugar and S. cerevisiae to distilled water and then mixed the sugar into the solution, then measured CO2 production for 15 minutes. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of fermentation, a step in cellular respiration for anaerobic organisms that breaks down sugars into CO2 and ethanol (French 2019). We hypothesized that there would be a greater amount of carbon dioxide produced from the monosaccharide dextrose rather than the polysaccharide starch because it would not have to be broken down like complex sugars, allowing more time for production in the 900 seconds (15 minutes) we allotted for measurement. After observing and analyzing our results we found that our hypothesis was supported and that the monosaccharide produced around three times more carbon dioxide what the polysaccharide did.

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