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Industrial fermentation


Industrial fermentation

Industrial fermentation is the intentional use of

  • Food Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology and Bioengineering
  • Journal of Fermentation Technology

External links

  • Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals, J.E. Bailey and P.F. Ollis, McGraw Hill Publication
  • Principles of Fermentation Technology, Stansbury, P.F., A. Whitaker and S.J. Hall, 1997
  • Penicillin: A Paradigm for Biotechnology, Richard I Mateles, ISBN 1-891545-01-9


  1. ^ Yusuf Chisti (1999). Robinson, Richard K., ed. Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology (PDF). London: Academic Press. pp. 663–674.  
  2. ^ "Fermentation". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  3. ^ "Introduction to Biochemical Engineering - Dubasi Govardhana Rao". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  4. ^ Stanbury, Peter F.; Whiitaker, Allan; Hall, Stephen J. (1999). Principles of Fermentation Technology (Second ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann.  
  5. ^ "Fermentation (Industrial)" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  6. ^ "Fermentation". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  7. ^ a b [3]
  8. ^ "CORN STEEP LIQUOR IN MICROBIOLOGY.". Bacteriol Rev 12 (4): 297–311. Dec 1948.  
  9. ^ a b c d [4]
  10. ^ "Algae harvesting - Industrial fermentation - Separators". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  11. ^ "Studies on the amino acid fermentation. Part 1. Production of L-glutamic acid by various microorganisms.". J Gen Appl Microbiol 50 (6): 331–43. Dec 2004.  
  12. ^ "Industrial Fermentation: Principles, Processes, and Products - Springer". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  13. ^ "Biodegradation of agroindustrial wastes by Pleurotus spp for its use as ruminant feed".  


See also

A wide variety of agroindustrial waste products can be fermented to use as food for animals, especially ruminants. Fungi have been employed to break down cellulosic wastes to increase protein content and improve in vitro digestibility. [13]

Agricultural Feed

In the process of sewage treatment, sewage is digested by enzymes secreted by bacteria. Solid organic matters are broken down into harmless, soluble substances and carbon dioxide. Liquids that result are disinfected to remove pathogens before being discharged into rivers or the sea or can be used as liquid fertilizers. Digested solids, known also as sludge, is dried and used as fertilizer. Gaseous byproducts such as methane can be utilized as biogas to fuel electrical generators. One advantage of bacterial digestion is that it reduces the bulk and odor of sewage, thus reducing space needed for dumping. The main disadvantage of bacterial digestion in sewage disposal is that it is a very slow process.

Sewage treatment

Fermentation is the main source of ethanol in the production of Ethanol fuel. Common crops such as sugar cane, potato, cassava and corn are fermented by yeast to produce ethanol which is further processed to become fuel.

Ethanol fuel

Ancient fermented food processes, such as making Marmite are the byproduct of the fermentation process, in this case in the production of beer.

Food fermentation

Substrate transformation involves the transformation of a specific compound into another, such as in the case of phenylacetylcarbinol, and steroid biotransformation, or the transformation of a raw material into a finished product, in the case of food fermentations and sewage treatment.

Transformation of substrate

Of primary interest among the intracellular components are microbial enzymes: catalase, amylase, protease, pectinase, glucose isomerase, cellulase, hemicellulase, lipase, lactase, streptokinase and many others. Recombinant proteins, such as insulin, hepatitis B vaccine, interferon, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, streptokinase and others are also made this way. The largest difference between this process and the others is that the cells must be ruptured (lysed) at the end of fermentation, and the environment must be manipulated to maximize the amount of the product. Furthermore, the product (typically a protein) must be separated from all of the other cellular proteins in the lysate to be purified.

Production of intracellular components

Secondary metabolites are compounds made in the stationary phase; penicillin, for instance, prevents the growth of bacteria which could compete with Penicillium molds for resources. Some bacteria, such as Lactobacillus species, are able to produce bacteriocins which prevent the growth of bacterial competitors as well. These compounds are of obvious value to humans wishing to prevent the growth of bacteria, either as antibiotics or as antiseptics (such as gramicidin S). Fungicides, such as griseofulvin are also produced as secondary metabolites.[9] Typically secondary metabolites are not produced in the presence of glucose or other carbon sources which would encourage growth,[9] and like primary metabolites are released into the surrounding medium without rupture of the cell membrane.

Secondary metabolites

glycolysis. Citric acid is produced by some strains of Aspergillus niger as part of the citric acid cycle to acidify their environment and prevent competitors from taking over. Glutamate is produced by some Micrococcus species,[11] and some Corynebacterium species produce lysine, threonine, tryptophan and other amino acids. All of these compounds are produced during the normal "business" of the cell and released into the environment. There is therefore no need to rupture the cells for product recovery.

Primary metabolites

Microbial ethanol, citric acid, glutamic acid, lysine, vitamins and polysaccharides. Some examples of secondary metabolites are penicillin, cyclosporin A, gibberellin, and lovastatin.[9]

Production of extracellular metabolites

Microbial cells or biomass is sometimes the intended product of fermentation. Examples include single cell protein, bakers yeast, lactobacillus, E. coli, and others. In the case of single-cell protein, algae is grown in large open ponds which allow photosynthesis to occur.[10] If the biomass is to be used for inoculation of other fermentations, care must be taken to prevent mutations from occurring.

Production of biomass

Industrial fermentations are typically carried out in large tanks, called fermenters or bioreactor. Depending on the nature of the fermentation, gas may be sparged into the fermentation medium. For aerobic fermentations, bubble column or a packed bed over which fermentation medium drips (as in the production of vinegar). Cooling is typically required, since organisms produce waste heat as part of their metabolism.


Growth factors and trace nutrients are included in the fermentation broth for organisms incapable of producing all of the vitamins they require. trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum and cobalt are typically present in unrefined carbon and nitrogen sources, but may have to be added when purified carbon and nitrogen sources are used. Fermentations which produce large amounts of gas (or which require the addition of gas) will tend to form a layer of foam, since fermentation broth typically contains a variety of foam-reinforcing proteins, peptides or starches. To prevent this foam from occurring or accumulating, antifoaming agents may be added. Mineral buffering salts, such as carbonates and phosphates, may be used to stabilize pH near optimum. When metal ions are present in high concentrations, use of a chelating agent may be necessary.


Carbon sources are typically sugars or other carbohydrates, although in the case of substrate transformations (such as the production of vinegar) the carbon source may be an alcohol or something else altogether. For large scale fermentations, such as those used for the production of ethanol, inexpensive sources of carbohydrates, such as beta galactosidase, invertase or other amylases may be fed starch to select for organisms that express the enzymes in large quantity.

The microbes used for fermentation grow in (or on) specially designed growth medium which supplies the nutrients required by the organisms. A variety of media exist, but invariably contain a carbon source, a nitrogen source, water, salts, and micronutrients. In the production of wine, the medium is grape must. In the production of bio-ethanol, the medium may consist mostly of whatever inexpensive carbon source is available.

Fermentation Medium

When a particular organism is introduced into a selected growth medium, the medium is inoculated with the particular organism. Growth of the inoculum does not occur immediately, but takes a little while. This is the period of adaptation, called the lag phase.[7] Following the lag phase, the rate of growth of the organism steadily increases, for a certain period—this period is the log or exponential phase.[7] After a certain time of exponential phase, the rate of growth slows down, due to the continuously falling concentrations of nutrients and/or a continuously increasing (accumulating) concentrations of toxic substances. This phase, where the increase of the rate of growth is checked, is the deceleration phase. After the deceleration phase, growth ceases and the culture enters a stationary phase or a steady state. The biomass remains constant, except when certain accumulated chemicals in the culture lyse the cells (chemolysis). Unless other micro-organisms contaminate the culture, the chemical constitution remains unchanged. If all of the nutrients in the medium are consumed, or if the concentration of toxins is too great, the cells may become scenescent and begin to die off. The total amount of biomass may not decrease, but the number of viable organisms will decrease.

Bacterial growth curve\Kinetic Curve

Phases of microbial growth

In most industrial fermentations, the organisms are submerged in a liquid medium; in others, such as the fermentation of cocoa beans, coffee cherries, and miso, fermentation takes place on the moist surface of the medium.[5] There are also industrial considerations related to the fermentation process. For instance, to avoid biological process contamination, the fermentation medium, air, and equipment are sterilized. Foam control can be achieved by either mechanical foam destruction or chemical anti-foaming agents. Several other factors must be measured and controlled such as pressure, temperature, agitator shaft power, and viscosity. An important element for industrial fermentations is scale up. This is the conversion of a laboratory procedure to an industrial process. It is well established in the field of industrial microbiology that what works well at the laboratory scale may work poorly or not at all when first attempted at large scale. It is generally not possible to take fermentation conditions that have worked in the laboratory and blindly apply them to industrial-scale equipment. Although many parameters have been tested for use as scale up criteria, there is no general formula because of the variation in fermentation processes. The most important methods are the maintenance of constant power consumption per unit of broth and the maintenance of constant volumetric transfer rate.[6]

General process overview


  • General process overview 1
    • Phases of microbial growth 1.1
    • Fermentation Medium 1.2
    • Fermenters 1.3
  • Production of biomass 2
  • Production of extracellular metabolites 3
    • Primary metabolites 3.1
    • Secondary metabolites 3.2
  • Production of intracellular components 4
  • Transformation of substrate 5
    • Food fermentation 5.1
    • Ethanol fuel 5.2
    • Sewage treatment 5.3
    • Agricultural Feed 5.4
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9

These types are not necessarily disjoint from each other, but provide a framework for understanding the differences in approach. The organisms used may be bacteria, yeasts, molds, animal cells, or plant cells. Special considerations are required for the specific organisms used in the fermentation, such as the dissolved oxygen level, nutrient levels, and temperature.

  • Production of biomass (viable cellular material)
  • Production of extracellular metabolites (chemical compounds)
  • Production of intracellular components (enzymes and other proteins)
  • Transformation of substrate (in which the transformed substrate is itself the product)

[4] for cheesemaking. In general, fermentations can be divided into four types:starter cultures and lactic acid bacteria baker's yeast. In some cases, production of biomass itself is the objective, as in the case of genetically modified microbes, are made by fermentation with rennet and invertase, lipase oxygen. Product recovery frequently involves the concentration of the dilute solution. Nearly all commercially produced enzymes, such as [3] fermentationaerobic and for [2]

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