The influence of precultivation. parameters on the ability of Staphylococcus xylosus and Staphylococcus carnosus to convert branched-chain amino acids-leucine, isoleucine and valine-into volatile flavour compounds was investigated using resting cells in a defined reaction medium. The studied precultivation parameters were: growth phase, temperature, NaCl concentration and the concentration of leucine, isoleucine and valine (only for S. xylosus). Flavour compounds were sampled by automatic static headspace collection and separated/quantified using gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (GC/FID).Main catabolic products from degradation of leucine, isoleucine and valine were the flavour intensive branched-chain acids: 2-and 3-methylbutanoic and 2-methylpropanoic acids. The precultivation parameters altered the production of the branched-chain acids significantly, but to various degrees for S. xylosus and S. carnosus.Production of branched-chain acids by S. carnosus was only influenced slightly by the growth phase and not by changing the NaCl concentration between 4.0% and 10.0% (w/w). Lowering the temperature from 28degreesC to 18degreesC significantly decreased S. carnosus' generation of branched-chain acids. In contrast, S. xylosus was significantly influenced by all precultivation parameters, in particular by the growth phase. Cells taken from growing cultures had a much higher production of branched-chain acids compared to cells taken from stationary cultures. Addition of leucine and valine to the precultivation medium enhanced the production of branched-chain acids whereas addition of isoleucine had the opposite effect.
Food Microbiology, 2003, Vol 20, Issue 6, p. 621-629