Reviewing the Source, Physiological Characteristics, and Aroma Production Mechanisms of Aroma-Producing Yeasts
Flavor is an essential element of food quality. Flavor can be improved by adding flavoring substances or via microbial fermentation to impart aroma. Aroma-producing yeasts are a group of microorganisms that can produce aroma compounds, providing a strong aroma to foods and thus playing a great role in the modern fermentation industry. The physiological characteristics of aroma-producing yeast, including alcohol tolerance, acid tolerance, and salt tolerance, are introduced in this article, beginning with their origins and biological properties. The main mechanism of aroma-producing yeast is then analyzed based on its physiological roles in the fermentation process. Functional enzymes such as proteases, lipases, and glycosidase are released by yeast during the fermentation process. Sugars, fats, and proteins in the environment can be degraded by these enzymes via pathways such as glycolysis, methoxylation, the Ehrlich pathway, and esterification, resulting in the production of various aromatic esters (such as ethyl acetate and ethyl caproate), alcohols (such as phenethyl alcohol), and terpenes (such as monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and squalene). Furthermore, yeast cells can serve as cell synthesis factories, wherein specific synthesis pathways can be introduced into cells using synthetic biology techniques to achieve high-throughput production. In addition, the applications of aroma yeast in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries are summarized, and the future development trends of aroma yeasts are discussed to provide a theoretical basis for their application in the food fermentation industry.