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Applied and Environmental Microbiology





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Plastic composite supports containing 50% agricultural products (oat hulls, soybean hulls, yeast extract, soybean flour, dried bovine erythrocytes, bovine albumin, and/or mineral salts) and 50% (wt/wt) polypropylene were produced by high-temperature twin-screw extrusion. The research employed two half sets of a fivefactorial fractional design (25 2 1 ) to evaluate the effects of different agricultural components on the properties of the plastic composite supports and to select the best plastic composite support formulation for lactic acid fermentation. The biofilm population was affected by the contact angle and relative hydrophobicity of the supports (r 5 0.79 to 0.82). Lactic acid was produced by the suspended cells (r 5 0.96) and the biofilm on the plastic composite support discs (r 5 0.85). Incorporation of yeast extract into plastic composite supports enhanced growth of free and attached cells in minimal medium (P < 0.0001). The presence of soybean hulls, yeast extract, or mineral salts in plastic composite supports produced less hydrophobic supports (P < 0.0001) and enhanced cell attachment (P < 0.03). Under all conditions, suspended-cell and polypropylene disc controls gave negligible lactic acid production and cell density. Plastic composite supports containing soybean hulls, yeast extract, soybean flour, bovine albumin, and mineral salts gave the highest biofilm population (2.3 3 109 CFU/g of support), cell density (absorbance of 1.8 at 620 nm), and lactic acid concentration (7.6 g/liter) in minimal medium.


This article is from Applied and Environmental Microbiology 63 (1997): 2516. Posted with permission.

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American Society for Microbiology



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