Lactic Acid Production from a Whole Slurry of Acid-Pretreated Spent Coffee Grounds by Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Jeong-won Kim
  • Jeong Hwa Jang
  • Hyeon Jin Yeo
  • Jeongman Seol
  • Soo Rin Kim
  • Young Hoon JungEmail author


Spent coffee grounds (SCG) generated after coffee extraction are the main byproduct of the coffee industry. Valorization of the SCG has been increasingly focused following considerable attention in coffee consumption. Lactic acid bacteria fermentation is the primary source of generation of lactic acid, a monomer of polylactic acid that has various industrial applications; however, because of the low tolerance of lactic acid bacteria to toxic compounds, it is necessary to apply Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce lactic acid whose tolerance to toxic compounds is higher. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of using SCG as substrate for the production of lactic acid by S. cerevisiae strain expressing heterologous lactate dehydrogenase. The fermentation profiles of the engineered yeast showed that lactic acid production was promoted by xylose addition. From simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) using a whole slurry of acid-pretreated SCG, containing high amounts of hemicellulose fractions, lactic acid (0.11 g) and ethanol (0.10 g) per g SCG were obtained after 24 h of SSF, of which yields were 413% and 221% higher, respectively, than those of washed pretreated SCG. Thus, fermentation of whole slurry SCG by engineered S. cerevisiae is a suitable way of lactic acid production, selectively.


Biorefinery Spent coffee grounds Pretreatment Lactic acid Saccharomyces cerevisiae Metabolic engineering 


Funding information

This research was also supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), the Ministry of Education (Grant No. 03030504).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Food Science and BiotechnologyKyungpook National UniversityDaeguSouth Korea

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