Agro-food wastes utilization by Blakeslea trispora for carotenoids production
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The all-trans-β-carotene is a natural pigment used in various industrial fields (food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc) and possesses the higher provitamin A activity, in respect to other carotenoids. All-trans-β-carotene is produced industrially by chemical and biotechnological means. For β-carotene biotechnological production in industrial scale mated cultures of Blakeslea trispora, a heterothallic fungus, are mainly used. Despite the intense research for β-carotene production by B. trispora, natural substrate utilization has not been extensively studied. Solid agro-food wastes such as cabbage, watermelon husk and peach peels from northern Greece as main carbon source into submerged B. trispora cultures for carotenoids production, was examined. The media containing only the agro-food waste (2-4) gave a biomass accumulation 7.77±0.4 g/L, while a reference medium 1 with glucose (10 g/L) gave 4.65±0.21 g/L. In another experiments series agro-food wastes were used with corn steep liquor and thiamine (media 6-8), giving a biomass accumulation and total carotenoid volumetric production 10.2±2.41 g/L and 230.49±22.97 mg/L, respectively. These are the higher values reported for solid wastes so far in respect to those obtained from a synthetic medium, with higher glucose concentration of 50 g/L where the correspondent values were 9.41±1.18 g/L and 45.63 mg/L respectively. The results support that B. trispora is able to utilize, almost equivalently, different origin agro-food wastes for carotenoids production. Furthermore, β-carotene percentage in all examined cases was over 76%, as it was estimated by HPLC analysis, suggesting that these agro food wastes may be used for high purity, large scale β carotene production.
- Section of Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
- Laboratory of Natural Resources and Renewable Energies, Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute (CPERI), Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), Thessaloniki, Greece
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