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African Journal of Biotechnology

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The use of earthworm flour for lactic acid biomass production

Liliana Serna Cock, Carlos Andrés Rengifo Guerrero, Miguel Angel Rojas Restrepo

Abstract


The potential use of Californian red earthworm flour as a nitrogen source for the production of lactic biomass was assessed. Three fermentation substrates, earthworm flour (EF), earthworm flour + yeast extract (EF + YE) and a commercial substrate MRS (control) were used. The substrates were formulated using 60 g L-1 of glucose as the carbon source and 34 gL-1 of earthworm flour as the nitrogen source. Weissella confusa was used as lactic acid bacterium. Nine batch fermentations were performed at 32°C and 100 rpm for 4 h, and the kinetics of the biomass concentration, lactic acid concentration and substrate consumption were compared. No differences were observed in the biomass concentration of the EF and EF + YE substrates, and final concentrations of 1.36 and 1.47 g L-1 were obtained, respectively. The lactic acid concentration did not differ significantly between EF + YE and the commercial substrate, and values of 4.79 and 4.33 g L-1 were obtained, respectively. These results suggest that earthworm flour can be a low-cost alternative for lactic acid biomass production.

Keywords: Earthworm flour, Weissella confusa, lactic acid bacteria

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(40), pp. 5962-5967



http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/AJB2012.2924
AJOL African Journals Online