Macedonia (Fulbright S&T grantee 2010)
Biljana Petrova is a doctoral candidate in Food Science at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Her research is focused on investigating the effect of chitosan on Brettanomyces, a spoilage yeast in winemaking.
Chitosan is a derivative of chitin, a polysaccharide found in the exoskeleton of crustaceans and insects and in fungal cell walls. It is an important biopolymer that exhibits antifungal activity, is nontoxic and biodegradable. These properties make it a valuable antimicrobial compound with potential applications in winemaking against one of the most important wine spoilage yeasts. Yeasts of the genus Brettanomyces are well known contaminants of industrial alcohol fermentation and of stored fermented beverages, contributing to the development of negative sensorial characteristics in wine.
A native of Macedonia, prior to her selection for the International Fulbright Science & Technology Award, Biljana received both undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje. Her passion for wine making and wine microbiology has taken her to many wineries in Macedonia and the United States, using every opportunity to learn about new ways to help and improve this ancient craft and enjoying every minute of it.