Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for identification and discrimination of beverage spoilage yeasts using patterned substrates and gold nanoparticles

Sanna Uusitalo (Corresponding Author), Alexey Popov, Yury V. Ryabchikov, Olga Bibikova, Hanna-Leena Alakomi, Riikka Juvonen, Ville Kontturi, Samuli Siitonen, Andrei Kabashin, Igor Meglinski, Jussi Hiltunen, Arja Laitila

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    In the beverage industry, the detection of spoilage yeasts such as Wickerhamomyces anomalus and Brettanomyces bruxellensis can be labourious and time-consuming. In the present study, a simple and repeatable technique was developed for rapid yeast detection using a combination of patterned gold-coated surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates and gold nanoparticles. W. anomalus and B. bruxellensis showed several characteristic peaks, enabling the discrimination of these yeasts without chemometric analysis. The control yeast used as an indicator yeast, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, showed 7 cell wall-related peaks originating from lipids and haemoproteins. Analysing W. anomalus SERS spectra with differently sized and shaped gold nanoparticles revealed the benefit of using either large, spherical, chemically synthesised gold nanoparticles or small, laser-synthesised, gold-silicon nanoparticles for yeast detection. Additionally, the spectra showed differences in SERS signal construction for small molecules and biological cells, as the nanoparticles with best response in biological cell detection did not excel in small molecule detection. The use of small composite gold-silicon nanoparticles in combination with the SERS substrate gave distinctive spectra for all detected yeast species.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-54
    JournalJournal of Food Engineering
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    This project was funded by a VTT government grant through the SENSFOOD-project and by the Academy of Finland through an M-SPEC project (284907); it was also partially funded by projects 260321 and 290596. The authors are thankful for support from Infotech Oulu Graduate School. O. Bibikova acknowledges support from the International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine Ulm. This work was partially supported by the Government of Russian Federation (Grant 074-U01). Yu. Ryabchikov and A. V. Kabashin acknowledge support from LASERNANOCANCER (No. PC201420) and GRAVITY projects of the ITMO “Plan Cancer 2014–2019” of INSERM and the AMIDEX project (No ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02) funded by the French Government.


    • beverage
    • yeast
    • raman spectroscopy
    • SERS
    • nanoparticles


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