The importance of saccharification & fermentation

The liquefied mash then goes into the saccharification and fermentation step. Saccharification breaks down shorter glucose chains (dextrins) into fermentable sugars. A glucoamylase enzyme is used to hydrolyze liquified starch to single glucose molecules, where yeast then converts glucose to ethanol and CO2 during fermentation. Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF) combines the glucoamylase and yeast into one step.

Healthy yeast = Successful fermentations

Yeast need the right nutrients and environment for optimum growth and production. While understanding these requirements are central to a successful fermentation, so is selecting the right yeast. Yeast stress can reduce growth rates and also lead to stuck or sluggish fermentations. A yeast that is designed to withstand stressors such as organic acids, high temperatures or other challenging conditions is ideal to help you succeed and maximize your potential.

Discover our saccharification & fermentation solutions:

While glucoamylases are the primary enzymes needed in the Saccharification & Fermentation step in addition to the yeast, other accessory enzymes and fermentation additives can be beneficial in the process. Learn more about our robust portfolio of solutions below.

Our DISTILLASE® products use precision blends of concentrated enzymes to efficiently produce glucose from liquefied starch increasing fermentation rates (shortening fermentation times) and yields. Our flexible suite of DISTILLASE® glucoamylase based products enables you to customize to your plant's specific needs with a combination of yield and performance-enhancing enzymes such as trehalase, amylase, protease and phytase. Depending on the product selected, benefits may include:

  • Higher ethanol yield
  • Lower residual starch in stillage and DDGS
  • Less residual sugars
  • Lower glycerol
  • Increased level of essential yeast nutrients
  • Flexibility in feedstock use
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Our line of SYNERXIA® Fermentation Systems pair robust glucoamylase-producing yeasts with a uniquely superior debranching glucoamylase blend to deliver the following benefits:

  • Increased ethanol yields - up to 3% vs. conventional yeasts
  • Excellent thermotolerance during production temperature excursions
  • Better organic acid tolerance than conventional yeast
  • 20-25% lower total sugars at end of fermentation
  • An industry proven glucoamylase-expressing yeast reducing the need to add glucoamylase by up to 40%
  • Available in both dry and cream formats for maximum flexibility
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Our OPTIMASH® range of products consists of a diverse line of accessory enzymes used in the saccharification and fermentation process.

These include:

  • Phytases - efficiently hydrolyzes phytate under ethanol fermentation conditions, generating inositol, an important yeast nutrient while maximizing the level of free phosphate in residuals (DDGS).
  • Trehalases -- for hydrolyzing extracellular trehalose to glucose during the SSF process, which can then be converted into additional ethanol.
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FERMGEN® 2.5X is a line of acid proteolytic enzymes designed to hydrolyze proteins under low pH conditions.

The broad substrate specificity of FERMGEN® 2.5X protease enables the enzyme to easily and efficiently hydrolyze most proteins in a random fashion - delivering faster fermentation rates and yield.

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FermaSure® is a line of antibiotic-free fermentation additives that rapidly attack and decrease harmful bacteria, allowing you to increase your ethanol fermentation rates and efficiency.

Benefits include:

  • Higher ethanol yields
  • Consistent batch-to-batch performance
  • No antibiotic residue in DDGs
  • No bacterial resistance
  • Less down time in the plant
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Get in touch to learn how our XCELIS® Ethanol Solutions platform can help you get more profitability from your plant.

Keep exploring XCELIS® solutions:


Flexible front-end solutions for increased efficiencies in throughput and yield.

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Additives that improve operational efficiency and move your business forward by accelerating fermentation and increasing yields.

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Whatever your end-goal, unlock better biofuel production through yeast fermentation with our diverse portfolio of yeasts and yeast blends.

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