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Evaluation of orange peel, an industrial waste, for the production of Aspergillus sojae polygalacturonase considering both morphology and rheology effects
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Orange peel is an agroindustrial waste rich in pectin and known to be an inducer for pectinase production. The use of this low-cost substrate for the production of an industrially important enzyme, polygalacturonase (PG), can be an alternative way to turn this waste into a value-added product, contributing to the reduction of environmental waste disposal problems. Enzyme productions by fungal microorganisms are affected by environmental and nutritional factors, demanding the determination of optimum conditions for maximum enzyme production with the desired fungal morphology and broth rheology. Therefore, complex and additional carbon sources were optimized with respect to PG production by Aspergillus sojae using statistical approaches. Effect of pH, another significant parameter affecting the rheology and morphology of the strain, was investigated in the serial bioreactor system using the optimized medium composition. Highest PG enzyme yield and productivity together with the maximum PG enzyme production (93.48 U/mL) were obtained under uncontrolled pH conditions. Under these conditions, morphologically, pellet sizes exhibited a normal distribution ranging between 0.5-1.0 mm and 1.0-1.5 mm, and rheological measurements revealed that fermentation broths showed non-Newtonian flow. The low pH trend observed during the course of the fermentation was another important positive outcome for industrial fermentations, prone to contamination problems.