A mathematical model of the link between growth and L-malic acid consumption for five strains of Oenococcus oeni.World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Dec; 30(12):3163-72.WJ
In winemaking, after the alcoholic fermentation of red wines and some white wines, L-malic acid must be converted into L-lactic acid to reduce the acidity. This malolactic fermentation (MLF) is usually carried out by the lactic acid bacteria Oenococcus oeni. Depending on the level of process control, selected O. oeni is inoculated or the natural microbiota of the cellar is used. This study considers the link between growth and MLF for five strains of O. oeni species. The kinetics of growth and L-malic acid consumption were followed in modified MRS medium (20 °C, pH 3.5, and 10 % ethanol) in anaerobic conditions. A large variability was found among the strains for both their growth and their consumption of L-malic acid. There was no direct link between biomass productivities and consumption of L-malic acid among strains but there was a link of proportionality between the specific growth of a strain and its specific consumption of L-malic acid. Experiments with and without malic acid clearly demonstrated that malic acid consumption improved the growth of strains. This link was quantified by a mathematical model comparing the intrinsic malic acid consumption capacity of the strains.