A recent preprint study (A dark matter in sake brewing: Origin of microbes producing a Kimoto-style fermentation starter,Kohei Ito et al) using Isohelix SK-3S Buccal Swabs and Isohelix BuccalFix Stabilization Buffer has investigated how microbes present in the environment influenced and contributed to the brewing process of the Japanese alcoholic drink, sake.
Sake brewing is an inherently microbial-driven process, and requires careful management in order to encourage the proliferation of microbes that contribute to the process while minimising the influence of microbes that may cause spoilage.
Using Isohelix SK-3S Buccal Swabs and BuccalFix DNA Stabilization Buffer, the study collected surface samples from various locations within the brewery, such as floors, brewing materials, and brewing equipment. DNA from the samples were extracted and underwent microbiome analysis using 16S gene sequencing.
The study found that microbes present in raw materials and brewing equipment both contributed to the microbial profile of the brewing starter culture used for fermentation. Beneficial microbes from the environment, such as lactic acid bacteria, help to control the brewing process, preventing the growth of undesirable microbes while in turn contributing to the flavour profile of the final product. This study also demonstrates the suitability and efficacy of Isohelix’s swab and stabilization products for use in environmental microbiome investigations.