Raw materials of fermentation medium

8:55 AM 1 Comment »
All micro-organisms require water, sources of energy, carbon, nitrogen, mineral elements and possibly vitamins plus oxygen if aerobic. On a small scale it is relatively simple to devise a medium containing pure compounds, but the resulting medium, although supporting satisfactory growth may be unsuitable for use in a large scale process.

On a large scale one must normally use sources of nutrients to create a medium which will meet as many as possible of the following criteria:

It will produce the maximum yield of product or biomass per gram of substrate used.
It will produce the maximum concentration of product or biomass.
It will permit the maximum rate of product formation.
There will be the minimum yield of undesired products.
It will be of a consistent quality and be readily available throughout the year.
It will cause minimal problems during media making and sterilization.
It will cause minimal problems in other aspects of the production process particularly aeration and agitation, extraction, purification and waste treatment.

The use of cane molasses, beet molasses, cereal grains, starch, glucose, sucrose and lactose as carbon sources, and ammonium salts, urea, nitrates, corn steep liquor, Soya bean meal, slaughter-house waste and fermentation residues as nitrogen sources, have tended to meet most of the above criteria for production media because they are cheap substrates. However, other more expensive pure substrates may be chosen.

It must be remembered that the medium selected will affect the design of fermenter to be used. For example, the decision to use methanol and ammonia in the single cell protein process developed by ICI plc necessitated the design of a novel fermenter design. The microbial oxidation of hydrocarbons is a highly aerobic and exothermic process. Thus, the production fermenter had to have a very high oxygen transfer capacity coupled with excellent cooling facilities. ICI plc solved these problems by developing an air lift fermenter. Equally, if a fermenter is already available this will obviously influence the composition of the medium.

A medium with a high viscosity will also need a higher power input for effective stirring. Besides meeting requirements for growth and product formation, the medium may also influence pH variation, foam formation, the oxidation-reduction potential, and the morphological form of the organism.

Historically, undefined complex natural materials have been used in fermentation processes because they are much cheaper than pure substrates. However, there is often considerable, batch variation because of variable concentrations of TR component parts and impurities in natural materials which cause unpredictable biomass and/or product yields. As a consequence of these variations in composition small yield improvements are difficult to detect. Undefined media often make product recovery and effluent treatment more problematical because not all the components of a complex nutrient source will be consumed by the organism. The residual components may interfere with recovery (chapter 10>and contribute to the BOD of the effluent.

Although manufacturers have been reluctant to use fined media components because they are more expensive, pure substrates give more predictable yields from batch to batch and recovery, purification and effluent treatment are much simpler and therefore cheaper. Process improvements are also easier to detect when pure substrates are used.

Industrial Microbiology - Major products at a glance

7:37 PM 0 Comments »
There are many industries which produce their products with the help of microorganisms. Some times the microorganisms themselves are the products. Microbes are used as they can carry out some processes which can't be carried out without the enzymes secreted by them.

Major products of industrial microbiology are as follows...

- Antibiotics
- Amino acids
- Organic acids
- Biopolymers
- Biosurfactants

Microbes as products...

- Nanotechnology
- Biosensors
- Biopesticides

The cheese production, beer production is not possible without micro organisms.