Citric acid production from orange peel wastes by solid-state fermentation


Brazilian Journal of Microbiology




Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis) peel was employed in this work as raw material for the production of citric acid (CA) by solid-state fermentation (SSF) of Aspergillus niger CECT-2090 (ATCC 9142, NRRL 599) in Erlenmeyer flasks. To investigate the effects of the main operating variables, the inoculum concentration was varied in the range 0.5·10³ to 0.7·10(8) spores/g dry orange peel, the bed loading from 1.0 to 4.8 g of dry orange peel (corresponding to 35-80 % of the total volume), and the moisture content between 50 and 100 % of the maximum water retention capacity (MWRC) of the material. Moreover, additional experiments were done adding methanol or water in different proportions and ways. The optimal conditions for CA production revealed to be an inoculum of 0.5·10(6) spores/g dry orange peel, a bed loading of 1.0 g of dry orange peel, and a humidification pattern of 70 % MWRC at the beginning of the incubation with posterior addition of 0.12 mL H2O/g dry orange peel (corresponding to 3.3 % of the MWRC) every 12 h starting from 62 h. The addition of methanol was detrimental for the CA production. Under these conditions, the SSF ensured an effective specific production of CA (193 mg CA/g dry orange peel), corresponding to yields of product on total initial and consumed sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) of 376 and 383 mg CA/g, respectively. These results, which demonstrate the viability of the CA production by SSF from orange peel without addition of other nutrients, could be of interest to possible, future industrial applications.

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