Image Credit: co.uk
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute of Diabetes in Seattle have found a large biodiversity of yeasts that are used in the processing of cocoa beans and coffee, which determines, in turn, the wealth of beverage flavors. The Current Journal Biology published the original article.
Yeast are used in the fermentation process, which is required for the production of coffee or cocoa. After selection of the grain is loaded into special containers, where they are held for a few days, allowing clean grain from the pulp. This process also has a significant effect on the taste and aroma of the beans. The goal of researchers was to determine the origin of the yeast – whether they were distributed, along with the plants around the world, or some part of the globe had their yeast populations.
Researchers purchased unroasted cacao beans and coffee from Central and South America, Africa, Indonesia and the Middle East. In the laboratory, they identified different strains of yeast and did their genetic analysis. The results showed that the strains of unicellular fungi have been grouped according to the geographical origin of the beans. According to scientists, it was possible to determine where the grains were originally on only one DNA sequence.
Thus yeast strains had an independent origin. Some of yeast that have been found in certain parts of the world, is a hybrid, the resulting mix of strains from different geographical places on the planet. In addition, it was found that one type of yeast used in wine-making.
The researchers say their study may help improve the quality of chocolate and coffee.
Previously,scientists have been able to introduce in baker’s yeast gene which is responsible for the synthesis of an enzyme that converts sugar into morphine.