Optimization of lactic acid production from whey by L casei NRRL B-441 immobilized in chitosan stabilized Ca-alginate beads
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The production of lactic acid from whey by Lactobacillus casei NRRL B-441 immobilized in chitosan-stabilized Ca-alginate beads was investigated. Higher lactic acid production and lower cell leakage were observed with alginate-chitosan beads compared with Ca-alginate beads. The highest lactic acid concentration (131.2 g dm-3) was obtained with cells entrapped in 1.3-1.7 mm alginate-chitosan beads prepared from 2% (w/v) Na-alginate. The gel beads produced lactic acid for five consecutive batch fermentations without marked activity loss and deformation. Response surface methodology was used to investigate the effects of three fermentation parameters (initial sugar, yeast extract and calcium carbonate concentrations) on the concentration of lactic acid. Results of the statistical analysis showed that the fit of the model was good in all cases. Initial sugar, yeast extract and calcium carbonate concentrations had a strong linear effect on lactic acid production. The maximum lactic acid concentration of 136.3 g dm-3 was obtained at the optimum concentrations of process variables (initial sugar 147.35 g dm-3, yeast extract 28.81 g dm-3, CaCO3 97.55 g dm-3). These values were obtained by fitting of the experimental data to the model equation. The response surface methodology was found to be useful in optimizing and determining the interactions among process variables in lactic acid production using alginate-chitosan-immobilized cells.