Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 16, pp 6677–6691 | Cite as

Fruit peels support higher yield and superior quality bacterial cellulose production

  • Jyoti Vasant Kumbhar
  • Jyutika Milind Rajwade
  • Kishore Madhukar Paknikar
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Fruit peels, also known as rinds or skins, are wastes readily available in large quantities. Here, we have used pineapple (PA) and watermelon (WM) peels as substrates in the culture media (containing 5 % sucrose and 0.7 % ammonium sulfate) for production of bacterial cellulose (BC). The bacterial culture used in the study, Komagataeibacter hansenii produced BC under static conditions as a pellicle at the air–liquid interface in standard Hestrin and Schramm (HS) medium. The yield obtained was ~3.0 g/100 ml (on a wet weight basis). The cellulosic nature of the pellicle was confirmed by CO2, H2O, N2, and SO2 (CHNS) analysis and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) of the pellicle revealed the presence of flat twisted ribbonlike fibrils (70–130 nm wide). X-ray diffraction analysis proved its crystalline nature (matching cellulose I) with a crystallinity index of 67 %. When K. hansenii was grown in PA and WM media, BC yields were threefolds or fourfolds higher than those obtained in HS medium. Interestingly, textural characterization tests (viz., SEM, crystallinity index, resilience, hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, springiness, shear energy and stress, and energy required for puncturing the pellicle) proved that the quality of BC produced in PA and WM media was superior to the BC produced in HS medium. These findings demonstrate the utility of the newly designed media for getting higher yields and better quality of BC, which could make fermentative production of BC more attractive on a commercial scale.


Komagataeibacter hansenii MCM B-967 Bacterial cellulose Pineapple peels Watermelon peels Textural properties 



JVK is thankful to CSIR, Govt. of India, New Delhi for providing research fellowship. Authors acknowledge financial support from DST, Govt. of India, New Delhi for carrying out the research.

Conflict of interest



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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Nanobioscience, Agharkar Research InstitutePuneIndia

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