Monitoring the production process of selenized yeast by elemental speciation analysis
Elemental speciation analysis was implemented as an essential tool set addressing optimum fermentation conditions for the production of selenized yeast feed supplements. Accordingly, the study addressed intracellular levels of (1) total selenium and sulfur, (2) seleno methionine (SeMet), (3) cysteine (Cys) and methionine (Met) and (4) selenite and selenate. Dedicated sample preparation- and LC-ICP-MS methods were implemented and validated using the reference material Selm-1. Excellent repeatability precisions <10% (n = 4 biological replicates) could be obtained for all parameters. The study comprised fermentation monitoring over 72 hours (6 different time points) for a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain under different selenite feed conditions. It was observed that for this strain an increase in the selenium concentration in the fermentation feed by 50% did not result in enhanced selenium accumulation. Fermentation monitoring of three different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains under the same conditions showed strain specific selenium uptake after 72 hours. The strain with the lowest cell viability of 60% showed the lowest SeMet content. After 47 h of fermentation, all strains reached a critical point, at which seleno methionine accounted for approximately 100% of the total selenium and cell viability started to decrease. This could be explained by sulfur limitation and/or excess of the seleno methionine storage capacity. Strains showing cell viability of approx. 90% after 72 hours of fermentation revealed SeMet concentrations up to 3000 μg g−1. In the final product, an apparent threshold level for Met/SeMet of approx. 1 was observed for all strains.