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Process development of eicosapentaenoic acid production

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Alan Ward, Professor Jarka Glassey


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Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a well-known member of omega-3 fatty acids, is considered to have a significant health promoting role in the human body. It is an essential fatty acid as the human body lacks the ability to produce it in vivo and must be supplemented through diet. Microbial EPA represents a potential commercial source. GC/MS analyses confirmed that bacterial isolate 717, similar to Shewanella pacifica on the basis of 16S rRNA sequencing, is a potential high EPA producer. Two types of bioreactors, a Stirred Tank Reactor (STR) and an Oscillatory Baffled Reactor (OBR), were investigated in order to choose the optimum system for EPA production. The EPA production media was optimised through the selection of media components in a Plackett-Burman (PB) design of experiment followed by a Central Composite Design (CCD) to optimise the concentration of medium components identified as significant in the Plackett-Burman experiment. The growth conditions for the bioreactor, using artificial sea water (ASW) medium, were optimised by applying Response Surface Methodology (RSM). This optimisation strategy resulted in an increase in EPA from 33 mg/l (10 mg/g biomass), representing 8% of the total fatty acids at shake flask level, to 350 mg/l (46 mg/g biomass) representing 25% of the total fatty acids at bioreactor level. During this study the main effects and the interactions between the bioreactor growth conditions were revealed and a polynomial model of EPA production was generated. Chemostat experiments were performed to test the effect of growth rate and temperature on EPA production. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): El Razak AA, Ward AC, Glassey J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal

Year: 2014

Volume: 82

Pages: 53-62

Print publication date: 06/11/2013

ISSN (print): 1369-703X

ISSN (electronic): 1873-295X

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.bej.2013.10.022


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