A biocatalyst was prepared by immobilizing a commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain (baker's yeast) on orange peel pieces for use in alcoholic fermentation and for fermented food applications. Cell immobilization was shown by electron microscopy and by the efficiency of the immobilized biocatalyst for alcoholic fermentation of various carbohydrate substrates (glucose, molasses, raisin extracts) and at various temperatures (30-15 degrees C). Fermentation times in all cases were low (5-15 h) and ethanol productivities were high (av. 150.6 g/ld) showing good operational stability of the biocatalyst and suitability for commercial applications. Reasonable amounts of volatile by-products were produced at all the temperatures studied, revealing potential application of the proposed biocatalyst in fermented food applications, to improve productivities and quality. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.