, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 129-134

Microbial production of xylitol from D-xylose using Candida tropicalis

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Candida tropicalis DSM 7524 was used to produce xylitol from d-xylose. The fermentation conditions were optimized during continuous cultivation. The strain employed showed no great dependence upon temperature in a range between 30° C and 37° C. It achieved its best yield of xylitol from d-xylose at a pH value of 2.5. Such low pH values allow non sterile cultivation, which is a major economic factor. With an oxygen uptake rate of 0.8–1 ml oxygen per litre culture medium, the C. tropicalis produce xylitol at a yield of between 77% and 80% of the theoretical value. Higher yeast extract concentrations prevent the conversion of d-xylose into xylitol. d-xylose acts as a growth inhibitor in higher concentrations. The maximum xylitol yield was reached at a d-xylose concentration of around 100 g/l. In a non sterile batch culture with substrate shift 220 g/l xylitol were produced from 300 g/l d-xylose at a xylitol productivity rate of 0.37 g/(lh). In order to increase the specific yield, C. tropicalis was immobilised on porous glass and cultivated in a fluidized bed reactor. In a continuous non sterile cultivation with immobilised cells 155 g/l d-xylose produced 90–95% g/l xylitol with a productivity of 1.35 g/(lh).

Mr. S. S. da Silva was a visiting scientist to the GBF. He was supported by a scholarship from the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, Brasilia, Brazil (CNPq).
We also would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Prof. Dr. Michele Vitolo of the University of Sao Paulo, and the Centre for Biotechnology and Chemistry, Lorena, S. P. Brazil, in particular the Department of Fermentative Process.
We are grateful to Prof. Rainer Jonas, head of the International Cooperation between Germany/Brazil for the helpful discussions and Dr. Heinrich Lönsdorf (GBF) for the Scanning electron micrographs.
Dedicated to the 65th birthday of Prof. Dr. Fritz Wagner.