Nutrient leaching and end product accumulation in plastic composite supports for L-(+)-lactic acid biofilm fermentation

Kai Lai Ho, Anthony L. Pometto, Paul N. Hinz, Ali Demirci

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Investigations on the leachate bioavailability, leaching rate, and lactic acid accumulation properties of plastic composite supports (PCS) were essential for large-scale or long-term lactic acid fermentation. Leachates from PCS and polypropylene discs (controls) were analyzed by the micro- Kjeldahl method; by absorbances at 260, 275, and 280 nm; and by bioassays with Lactobacillus casei subsp. rhamnosus (ATCC 11443). The amount of leached nitrogen in a 20-ml initial soaking solution had a high correlation with the soaking solution's cell density (r = 0.87) and absorbance at 260 nm (r = 0.95). Leaching rates of various PCS were evaluated by 20 20-ml simulated repeated-batch fermentations (RBF). PCS with only yeast extract as the minor agricultural ingredient had a high leaching rate and leached out 51 to 60% of the total nitrogen during the first RBF. PCS blended with dried bovine albumin, dried bovine erythrocytes, and/or soybean flour had slowed nutrient leaching (20 to 30% of the initial leached nitrogen). Hence, they could still maintain 1 g of lactic acid per liter and measurable cell density (absorbance at 620 nm, 0.4 to 0.6) at the 20th 20-ml RBF. Lactic acid accumulation properties of PCS were evaluated by soaking the supports in a 30% lactic acid solution for 72 h at 45°C. The lactic acid-soaked supports were rinsed three times and then heat treated (121°C, 15 min) in 15 ml of deionized water. The results showed that lactic acid accumulation in PCS was mainly due to absorption and had no correlation with lactic acid production or biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2524-2532
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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