The Effect of Differing Sugars on Industrial Yeast Production

Lee Repa, Kaitlyn Melchert, Hannah Khristine Quinn, lily lehmann, Tabitha Gunnars


The use of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in baking, brewing, and other industrial applications is incredibly widespread and common, and thus effective growth and production of yeast for these purposes is of particular interest for further research. Several factors can significantly affect the rate of yeast growth and the efficiency of production, and the most important of all of these is the “fuel” used for the fermentation of alcohol, sugars. This study intended to collect more data on the efficiency of two common disaccharide sugars, sucrose and lactose, as fuel for yeast as compared to one another, with the expectation that sucrose, the simpler sugar of the two, would be a more efficient fuel for yeast production as each sucrose molecule contains two glucose rings as compared to the one glucose ring of lactose. This hypothesis was generally supported with results that demonstrated a significantly greater amount of ethanol produced in sucrose trials as compared to lactose trials, a finding supporting the notion that S. cerevisiae cells are largely ineffective in fermenting lactose.

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