How Salty Is Too Salty: Effects of Various Salt Concentrations on Saccharomyces cerevisiae CO₂ Production During Fermentation

Alleigh Jezek, Alison Hoisl, Madison Meijer, Matthew John, Jeremy Kaplan


When baking, salt is often used as a flavor enhancer, but salt can be harmful to yeast production (Breslin et al., 1997). Knowing the amounts of salt that can be added to yeast is important to bakers, so that they do not kill their yeast, but can still produce a tasteful product. In this experiment, we tested the CO₂ production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast with various amounts of added salt. We tested this by using .5, 1.0 and 1.5 g of NaCl. We hypothesize that increases in salt concentrations will decrease fermentation, which will be represented by a decrease in CO₂ output. The results showed that when salt was added, the amount of CO₂ production in the yeast decreased. Our hypothesis was not supported because as the amount of salt increased, CO₂ production did not decrease linearly. The only point that adding salt proved to decrease the CO₂ output was from the control containing 0 g to .5 g of NaCl. From there, as we added more salt, the CO₂ output increased. From the data collected in this experiment, if a baker is wanting to add NaCl to their yeast they should use 1.0 g or 1.5 g of NaCl. This is because at 1.0 g and 1.5 g of NaCl the CO₂ production was still at a good rate. Further research could be to find a way to make the salt amount have less of impact by adding different nutrients.

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