The effect of pH, sucrose and ammonium sulphate concentrations on the production of bacterial cellulose (Nata-de-coco) by Acetobacter xylinum
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The effect of pH, sucrose and ammonium sulphate concentrations on the production of nata-de-coco, a form of bacterial cellulose, by Acetobacter xylinum was studied. Comparisons for physical properties like thickness, wet weight, water-holding capacity (WHC), moisture content and hardness, a textural parameter were done on nata-de-coco grown in tender coconut water medium supplemented with varying concentrations of sucrose and ammonium sulphate at different pH values. The results were analysed by fitting a second-order polynomial regression equation. Response surface methodology was used to study the effect of the three variables. The study showed that A. xylinum could effectively use sucrose as the sole carbon source in coconut water medium and that cellulose production was more dependent on pH than either sucrose or ammonium sulphate concentrations. Maximum thickness of nata was obtained at pH 4.0 with 10% sucrose and 0.5% ammonium sulphate concentrations. These conditions also produced good quality nata-de-coco with a smooth surface and soft chewy texture. The study will enable efficient utilization of coconut water, a hitherto wasted byproduct of coconut industry and will also provide a new product dimension to the aggrieved coconut farmers who are not getting the right price for their product.
KeywordsAcetobacter xylinum Bacterial cellulose Nata-de-coco
We would like to acknowledge the Coconut Development Board, Kochi, India for funding this project.
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