Journal of
Brewing and Distilling

  • Abbreviation: J. Brew. Distilling
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2197
  • DOI: 10.5897/JBD
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 30

Full Length Research Paper

An industrial perspective of factors affecting molasses fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Thulasizwe T. Ngwenya1, Pratyoosh Shukla1,3*, Nishana Baboolal2, Kugen Permaul1and Suren Singh1
  1Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Durban University of Technology, P. O. Box 1334, Durban, South Africa, 4000. 2Illovo Sugar Ltd, Merebank, Durban, South Africa. 3Department of Microbiology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak-124001, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 March 2012
  •  Published: 30 March 2012



In this study, an effort has been made to address the key issue of how molasses quality and composition are key components for higher yields during ethanol fermentation. Moreover, it was also noted that the choice of a yeast strain and yeast preconditioning have a positive effect on alcohol yield during molasses fermentation. A considerably better alcohol yield (9%) was obtained with low residual sugars (< 0.3%), and an increased glycerol concentration from 0.5 to 0.9%. Microbiological analysis revealed a total aerobic count (TAC) of 1.18 × 10cfu/ml and Lactobacilli count of 8.4 × 105 cfu/ml after 22 h fermentation on de Man, Rogosa and Sharpe (MRS) agar media. The wild yeast count was relatively high reaching 9 × 102 cfu/ml within 40 min of commencement of the fermentation but decreased to 3 × 104 cfu/ml after 22 h of fermentation. This study has shown some of the possible causes of poor fermentation and advantages of cell preconditioning in molasses fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Key words: Ethanol, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, fermentation, molasses,preconditioning.