The growth kinetics and fermentation performance of Williopsis saturnus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae at ratios of 10:1, 1:1 and 1:10 (W.:S.) were studied in papaya juice with initial 7-day fermentation by W.?saturnus, followed by S.?cerevisiae. The growth kinetics of W.?saturnus were similar at all ratios, but its maximum cell count decreased as the proportion of S.?cerevisiae was increased. Conversely, there was an early death of S.?cerevisiae at the ratio of 10:1. Williopsis saturnus was the dominant yeast at 10:1 ratio that produced papaya wine with elevated concentrations of acetate esters. On the other hand, 1:1 and 1:10 ratios allowed the coexistence of both yeasts which enabled the flavour-enhancing potential of W.?saturnus as well as the ethyl ester and alcohol-producing abilities of S.?cerevisiae. In particular, 1:1 and 1:10 ratios resulted in production of more ethyl esters, alcohols and 2-phenylethyl acetate. However, the persistence of both yeasts at 1:1 and 1:10 ratios led to formation of high levels of acetic acid. The findings suggest that yeast ratio is a critical factor for sequential fermentation of papaya wine by W.?saturnus and S.?cerevisiae as a strategy to modulate papaya wine flavour.
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