Potential formation of ethyl carbamate in simulated wine inoculated withOenococcus oeniandLactobacillus plantarum

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The production of ethyl carbamate (EC) and its precursor citrulline by two strains of Oenococcus oeni and one of Lactobacillus plantarum during malolactic fermentation (MLF) was studied in different conditions of pH, temperature, and ethanol and l-malic acid concentrations. The potential EC, defined as the concentration of EC after wine is heated at 80 °C for 48 h, was also investigated. The O. oeni strains were able to degrade arginine in the conditions studied and to excrete some citrulline. In these strains, the conditions that led to a slight increase in EC were a high ethanol concentration, low pH and a high l-malic acid concentration. However, the potential EC increased with higher pH. In the case of L. plantarum, arginine was not degraded and citrulline was not produced, although the potential EC was comparable with that of the O. oeni strains studied.

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