The Effects of Corn Sugar on the Ethanol Production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Adriana Hilburn, DarCee Robinson, Cali Cooper, Luke Fryar, Ashley Baragary


 Baker’s yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is one of the most important microorganisms humans use industrially on a day-to-day basis. In high fructose dough, which contains 40% sugar, yeast encounters a highly osmotically challenging environment. Pasteur showed that yeast is necessary to convert sugars into ethanol in baking and brewing processes. Strains of S. cerevisiae metabolize various sugars at different rates. Fermentation proves yeast with energy that powers a variety of processes including growth. With this information in mind, we decided to test the ethanol production of baker’s yeast with increasing concentrations of corn sugar – a simple sugar, which is made up of corn starch, broken down into glucose. We tested the effects of the corn sugar’s ethanol production in ppm/m and tested the amount of ethanol produced over five-minute intervals by using fermentation chambers and an ethanol probe, with four experimental groups and five trials. Our results proved to support our hypothesis as ethanol production of the baker’s yeast did increase as the concentration of corn sugar increased.

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