Operating bioreactors for microbial exopolysaccharide production

Seviour, Robert J. and McNeil, Brian and Fazenda, Mariana L. and Harvey, Linda M. (2011) Operating bioreactors for microbial exopolysaccharide production. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 31 (2). pp. 170-185. ISSN 0738-8551

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Abstract

There is considerable interest in exploiting the novel physical and biological properties of microbial exopolysaccharides in industry and medicine. For economic and scientific reasons, large scale production under carefully monitored and controlled conditions is required. Producing exopolysaccharides in industrial fermenters poses several complex bioengineering and microbiological challenges relating primarily to the very high viscosities of such culture media, which are often exacerbated by the producing organism's morphology. What these problems are, and the strategies for dealing with them are discussed critically in this review, using pullulan, curdlan, xanthan, and fungal beta-glucans as examples of industrially produced microbial exopolysaccharides. The role of fermenter configuration in their production is also examined.