Direct fungal fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass into itaconic, fumaric, and malic acids: current and future prospects
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- Mondala, A.H. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol (2015) 42: 487. doi:10.1007/s10295-014-1575-4
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Various economic and environmental sustainability concerns as well as consumer preference for bio-based products from natural sources have paved the way for the development and expansion of biorefining technologies. These involve the conversion of renewable biomass feedstock to fuels and chemicals using biological systems as alternatives to petroleum-based products. Filamentous fungi possess an expansive portfolio of products including the multifunctional organic acids itaconic, fumaric, and malic acids that have wide-ranging current applications and potentially addressable markets as platform chemicals. However, current bioprocessing technologies for the production of these compounds are mostly based on submerged fermentation, which necessitates physicochemical pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulose biomass to soluble fermentable sugars in liquid media. This review will focus on current research work on fungal production of itaconic, fumaric, and malic acids and perspectives on the potential application of solid-state fungal cultivation techniques for the consolidated hydrolysis and organic acid fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass.