Food Res Int. 2023 Oct;172:113141. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2023.113141. Epub 2023 Jun 20.
The initial microbial community is critical for the production of volatile metabolites during traditional food fermentations. Selection of the initial community plays an important role in improving the quality of fermented foods. Here, we used high-throughput amplicon sequencing combined with multivariate statistical methods to explore the microbial succession in stacking and alcoholic fermentation stages in sesame flavor-type baijiu making. We proposed a selection strategy for the initial microbial community in the alcoholic fermentation stage, which determined the quality of baijiu. Results suggested that the microbial composition statistically differed between stacking and alcoholic fermentation stages (ANOSIM, Bacteria: R = 0.60, P = 0.001; Fungi: R = 0.53, P = 0.001). Microbial succession drove metabolic succession (Bacteria: r = 0.87, P < 0.05; Fungi: r = 0.56, P < 0.05) in alcoholic fermentation. The fermentation time of stacking fermentation determined the initial community for alcoholic fermentation, and it can be used as a criterion for selection of the initial microbial community for alcoholic fermentation. The succession distance of the microbial community was varied and reached the highest (Bacteria: 0.048, Fungi: 0.064) at 30 h in stacking fermentation. When we selected 30 h as stacking fermentation time, the concentration (4.58 mg/kg) and diversity (0.61) of volatile metabolites were highest at the end of alcoholic fermentation. This work developed a succession distance-guided approach to select the initial microbial community for the alcoholic fermentation of sesame flavor-type baijiu. This approach can be used to improve the quality of baijiu.