, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 1209-1215
Date: 24 Jan 2007

Study of docosahexaenoic acid production by the heterotrophic microalga Crypthecodinium cohnii CCMP 316 using carob pulp as a promising carbon source

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In this work, carob pulp syrup was used as carbon source in C. cohnii fermentations for docosahexaenoic acid production. In preliminary experiments different carob pulp dilutions supplemented with sea salt were tested. The highest biomass productivity (4 mg/lh) and specific growth rate (0.04/h) were observed at the highest carob pulp dilution (1:10.5 (v/v), corresponding to 8.8 g/l glucose). Ammonium chloride and yeast extract were tested as nitrogen sources using different carob pulp syrup dilutions, supplemented with sea salt as growth medium. The best results were observed for yeast extract as nitrogen source. A C. cohnii fed-batch fermentation was carried out using diluted carob pulp syrup (1:10.5 v/v) supplemented with yeast extract and sea salt. The biomass productivity was 420 mg/lh, and the specific growth rate 0.05/h. Under these conditions the DHA concentration and DHA production volumetric rate attained 1.9 g/l and 18.5 mg/lh respectively after 100.4 h. The easy, clean and safe handling of carob pulp syrup makes this feedstock a promising carbon source for large-scale DHA production from C. cohnii. In this way, this carob industry by-product could be usefully disposed of through microbial production of a high value fermentation product.