Turkish Journal of Chemistry




Pichia yeasts are capable of forming biofilms during vinegar production and causing spoilage in various beverages. In addition, there exists a significant likelihood of encountering yeast contamination which can prevent vinegar production. The present study investigates the detection and characterization of the Pichia manshurica (P. manshurica) biofilm on traditionally produced homemade apple vinegar. The unique characteristics of vinegar were analyzed with a focus on the constituent, known as the “mother of vinegar”, whose composition is comprised of cellulosic biofilm and acetic acid bacteria, including Gluconobacter oxydans (G. oxydans) Briefly, P. manshurica was isolated from apple vinegar and characterized in terms of the effect of biofilm formation on the surface of the cellulosic film on vinegar production. Microbial identification of vinegar with/without contamination by P. manshurica was analyzed through MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS), and biofilm was characterized by FT-IR, SEM, and crystal violet staining. Accordingly, MS spectrum of isolates was identified as G. oxydans and P. manshurica with a ratio of 2.01 and 1.94, respectively. The FTIR analysis indicated that the peaks within the range of 900–1150 cm–1 revealed a high content of polysaccharide in P. manchuria-contaminated biofilm, which is attributed to the stretching vibration of C-C and C-O bonds. The spectral region from 2921.51 to 2853.71 cm–1 exhibited the characteristic of lipids in bacterial cell walls and membranes. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of bacterial biofilms revealed a three-dimensional network composed of ultrafine fibers with a ribbon-like shape; however, the condensed reticulated structure was observed in contaminated biofilms. The presence of two microbial populations was detected regarding the morphological analysis. Crystal violet staining of contaminated-cellulosic biofilms visualized bacterial and yeast colonization. Concisely, this study emphasizes that the proliferation of Pichia during apple fermentation has the potential to adversely affect the quality of the homemade vinegar, due to its distinct biofilm characteristics.


Biofilm, bacterial cellulose, Gluconobacter oxydans, Pichia manshurica, apple vinegar, homemade

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