, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 288-305

Applications of yeast flocculation in biotechnological processes

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A review on the main aspects associated with yeast flocculation and its application in biotechnological processes is presented. This subject is addressed following three main aspects—the basics of yeast flocculation, the development of “new” flocculating yeast strains and bioreactor development. In what concerns the basics of yeast flocculation, the state of the art on the most relevant aspects of mechanism, physiology and genetics of yeast flocculation is reported. The construction of flocculating yeast strains includes not only the recombinant constitutive flocculent brewer's yeast, but also recombinant flocculent yeast for lactose metabolisation and ethanol production. Furthermore, recent work on the heterologous β-galactosidase production using a recombinant flocculentSaccharomyces cerevisiae is considered. As bioreactors using flocculating yeast cells have particular properties, mainly associated with a high solid phase hold-up, a section dedicated to its operation is presented. Aspects such as bioreactor productivity and culture stability as well as bioreactor hydrodynamics and mass transfer properties of flocculating cell cultures are considered. Finally, the paper concludes describing some of the applications of high cell density flocculation bioreactors and discussing potential new uses of these systems.