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Chemosensors 2017, 5(3), 24;

Low-Frequency Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy as a Monitoring Tool for Yeast Growth in Industrial Brewing Processes

Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mechanistic and Physiological Methods for Improved Bioprocesses, Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering, TU Wien, Vienna 1060, Austria
Institute for Energy Systems and Thermodynamics, TU Wien, Vienna 1060, Austria
Research Division Electrochemistry, Institute of Chemical Technology and Analytics, TU Wien, Vienna 1060, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors Applications in Food Safety)
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Today’s yeast total biomass and viability measurements during the brewing process are dependent on offline methods such as methylene blue or florescence dye-based staining, and/or the usage of flow cytometric measurements. Additionally, microscopic cell counting methods decelerate an easy and quick prediction of yeast viability. These processes are time consuming and result in a time-delayed response signal, which not only reduces the knowledge of the performance of the yeast itself, but also impacts the quality of the final product. Novel approaches in process monitoring during the aerobic and anaerobic fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are not only limited to classical pH, dO2 and off-gas analysis, but they also use different in situ and online sensors based on different physical principles to determine the biomass, product quality and cell death. Within this contribution, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used to monitor the biomass produced in aerobic and anaerobic batch cultivation approaches, simulating the propagation and fermentation unit operation of industrial brewing processes. Increases in the double-layer capacitance (CDL), determined at frequencies below 1 kHz, were proportional to the increase of biomass in the batch, which was monitored in the online and inline mode. A good correlation of CDL with the cell density was found. In order to prove the robustness and flexibility of this novel method, different state-of-the-art biomass measurements (dry cell weight—DCW and optical density—OD) were performed for comparison. Because measurements in this frequency range are largely determined by the double-layer region between the electrode and media, rather minor interferences with process parameters (aeration and stirring) were to be expected. It is shown that impedance spectroscopy at low frequencies is not only a powerful tool for the monitoring of viable yeast cell concentrations during operation, but it is also perfectly suited to determining physiological states of the cells, and may facilitate biomass monitoring in the brewing and yeast-propagating industry drastically. View Full-Text
Keywords: brewing; S. cerevisiae; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; fermentation technology; inline sensors brewing; S. cerevisiae; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; fermentation technology; inline sensors

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Slouka, C.; Brunauer, G.C.; Kopp, J.; Strahammer, M.; Fricke, J.; Fleig, J.; Herwig, C. Low-Frequency Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy as a Monitoring Tool for Yeast Growth in Industrial Brewing Processes. Chemosensors 2017, 5, 24.

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