Cachaça is the denomination of a typical and exclusive Brazilian spirit produced from the distillation of fermented sugarcane juice must. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of adding yeast extract to the sugarcane juice used for sugarcane liquor production, because for the artisanal process no studies are available on nitrogen addition nor beverage quality, involving nitrogen complementation. Results of previous studies in the laboratory scale showed that sugarcane juice complementation with proteic nitrogen can be a beneficial practice for yeast multiplication and cellular growth, and also for the improvement of fermentation yield and liquor productivity. In this pilot scale study, using recycled yeast, the addition of proteic nitrogen influenced positively the cell viability, confirmed the yeast recycling operation, and also reduced the fermentation time. The proteic nitrogen addition did not affect the sensory acceptance of the distillate, and did not change the contents of volatile compounds, indicating that assimilable forms of proteic nitrogen can be helpfull to improve the alcoholic fermentation for cachaça production.
yeast extract; cell viability; volatile compounds; sensory analysis