Engineering design of a bioprocess for the production of natural red colourants by submerged fermentation of the thermophilic fungus Penicillium purpurogenum GH2
University College Cork
The development of a new bioprocess requires several steps from initial concept to a practical and feasible application. Industrial applications of fungal pigments will depend on: (i) safety of consumption, (ii) stability of the pigments to the food processing conditions required by the products where they will be incorporated and (iii) high production yields so that production costs are reasonable. Of these requirements the first involves the highest research costs and the practical application of this type of processes may face several hurdles until final regulatory approval as a new food ingredient. Therefore, before going through expensive research to have them accepted as new products, the process potential should be assessed early on, and this brings forward pigment stability studies and process optimisation goals. Only ingredients that are usable in economically feasible conditions should progress to regulatory approval. This thesis covers these two aspects, stability and process optimisation, for a potential new ingredient; natural red colour, produced by microbial fermentation. The main goal was to design, optimise and scale-up the production process of red pigments by Penicillium purpurogenum GH2. The approach followed to reach this objective was first to establish that pigments produced by Penicillium purpurogenum GH2 are sufficiently stable under different processing conditions (thermal and non-thermal) that can be found in food and textile industries. Once defined that pigments were stable enough, the work progressed towards process optimisation, aiming for the highest productivity using submerged fermentation as production culture. Optimum production conditions defined at flask scale were used to scale up the pigment production process to a pilot reactor scale. Finally, the potential applications of the pigments were assessed. Based on this sequence of specific targets, the thesis was structured in six parts, containing a total of nine chapters. Engineering design of a bioprocess for the production of natural red colourants by submerged fermentation of the thermophilic fungus Penicillium purpurogenum GH2.
Pigments , Penicillium purpurogenum , Process optimisation , Taguchi
Morales, L. 2015. Engineering design of a bioprocess for the production of natural red colourants by submerged fermentation of the thermophilic fungus Penicillium purpurogenum GH2. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.