Yeasty Beasties: Slowed by Molasses? Difference in Saccharomyces cerevisiae CO2 Production with Sucrose and Brown Sugar

William Janes, Carson Jensen, Rizonn Hendricks, Brooklyn Gissendaner, Sarah Bounds


Yeast are microorganisms that use fermentation to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. Yeast is one of the most important microorganisms used by humans, having been used in food and alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. Many industries rely on yeast today, so it is important that we understand how yeast productivity can be increased. Our goal was to explore the effects of sucrose and brown sugar on the CO2 production of baker’s yeast. We hypothesized that the brown sugar, with more carbon atoms present, would cause the baker’s yeast to ferment faster and result in a higher CO2 output. After several trials of measuring CO2 output, our results did not support our hypothesis. On average, yeast provided with sucrose produced more CO2 than yeast provided with brown sugar. After analyzing results, it seems that the molasses in the brown sugar hindered the productivity of baker’s yeast. It is possible that the yeast might need extra time to break down larger sugar molecules, so brown sugar may not be as economically productive. 

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