The use of micro-organisms for L-ascorbic acid production: current status and future perspectives
L-Ascorbic acid (L-AA) has been industrially produced for around 60 years in a primarily chemical process utilising D-glucose (D-glc) as starting material. Current world production is estimated at approximately 80,000 tonnes per annum with a worldwide market in excess of U.S. $600 million. We present a brief overview of research geared to exploiting micro-organisms for the industrial production of vitamin C, with emphasis on recent approaches using genetically engineered bacterial strains. We also discuss the potential for direct production of L-AA exploiting novel biochemical pathways with particular reference to yeast fermentations. The potential advantages of these novel approaches over current chemical and biotechnological processes are outlined.
KeywordsFermentation Bacterial Strain Chemical Process Acid Production Industrial Production
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