Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 19–26

Commercial riboflavin production by recombinant Bacillus subtilis: down-stream processing and comparison of the composition of riboflavin produced by fermentation or chemical synthesis

  • W Bretzel
  • W Schurter
  • B Ludwig
  • E Kupfer
  • S Doswald
  • M Pfister
  • A P G M van Loon

DOI: 10.1038/sj.jim.2900604

Cite this article as:
Bretzel, W., Schurter, W., Ludwig, B. et al. J Ind Microbiol Biotech (1999) 22: 19. doi:10.1038/sj.jim.2900604

A novel process for riboflavin production using a recombinant Bacillus subtilis strain has been developed. Here we describe a down-stream processing procedure to obtain riboflavin qualities having a minimal content of 96% (‘feed-grade’) and 98% (‘food/pharma-grade’) riboflavin, respectively. Compared to riboflavin produced by chemical synthesis, products with improved chemical purity were obtained. All compounds representing more than 0.1% of the final products were identified. Feed-grade riboflavin material ex fermentation contained small amounts of amino acids and amino sugars and the biosynthetic riboflavin precursor dimethyl-ribityl-lumazine. All other side products found were derived from riboflavin, resulted from the purification procedure and were also found in riboflavin obtained by chemical synthesis. The Bacillus-produced riboflavin does not contain DNA. The data presented here were used to obtain product approval for the commercial application in the USA, Japan and the UK.

Keywords: recombinant Bacillus subtilis; riboflavin produced by fermentation; down-stream processing; analytics; registration

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • W Bretzel
    • 1
  • W Schurter
    • 1
  • B Ludwig
    • 1
  • E Kupfer
    • 1
  • S Doswald
    • 1
  • M Pfister
    • 1
  • A P G M van Loon
    • 1
  1. 1.F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Grenzacherstrasse 124, CH-4070 Basel, SwitzerlandCH