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Pigment Production by the Edible Filamentous Fungus Neurospora Intermedia
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4887-2433
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
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2018 (English)In: Fermentation, ISSN 2311-5637, Vol. 4, no 11, p. 1-15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The production of pigments by edible filamentous fungi is gaining attention as a result of the increased interest in natural sources with added functionality in the food, feed, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and textile industries. The filamentous fungus Neurospora intermedia, used for production of the Indonesian food “oncom”, is one potential source of pigments. The objective of the study was to evaluate the fungus’ pigment production. The joint effect from different factors (carbon and nitrogen source, ZnCl2, MgCl2 and MnCl2) on pigment production by N. intermedia is reported for the first time. The scale-up to 4.5 L bubble column bioreactors was also performed to investigate the effect of pH and aeration. Pigment production of the fungus was successfully manipulated by varying several factors. The results showed that the formation of pigments was strongly influenced by light, carbon, pH, the co-factor Zn2+ and first- to fourth-order interactions between factors. The highest pigmentation (1.19 ± 0.08 mg carotenoids/g dry weight biomass) was achieved in a bubble column reactor. This study provides important insights into pigmentation of this biotechnologically important fungus and lays a foundation for future utilizations of N. intermedia for pigment production. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg, 2018. Vol. 4, no 11, p. 1-15
Keywords [en]
pigments; neurospora intermedia; carotenoids; edible filamentous fungi; ascomycetes
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Resource Recovery
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-13654DOI: 10.3390/fermentation4010011ISI: 000428469500010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061561703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-13654DiVA, id: diva2:1182705
Available from: 2018-02-14 Created: 2018-02-14 Last updated: 2021-10-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Circular bioeconomy through valorisation of agro-industrial residues by the edible filamentous fungus Neurospora intermedia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Circular bioeconomy through valorisation of agro-industrial residues by the edible filamentous fungus Neurospora intermedia
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Prevention of dramatic climate change and ensuring food and nutrition security for subsequent generations necessitates the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and efficient use of the world’s resources, including efficient waste disposal. The agro-industrial sector generates a large amount of organic waste, that is currently underexploited owing to poor waste management practices. The circular bioeconomy model is expected to play an important role in the transition towards a sustainable future, and a group of microorganisms known as fungi can be part of the solution, owing to their ability to convert organic waste into useful products, including both materials and energy. These processes hold great potential to change waste materials into resources, leading to societal and environmental benefits. The versatility of various fungi, including their ability to grow in both submerged and solid states, enables the valorisation of liquid and solid streams such as ethanol plant residues ‘thin stillage’ and surplus bread. However, fungal strains need to produce marketable products and exhibit good growth characteristics to be considered suitable for industrial applications. An interesting candidate is the edible filamentous fungus Neurospora intermedia. This fast-growing fungus is able to grow on a wide array of substrates, in both liquid and solid states, and produce industrially relevant products, including its own nutrient rich fungal biomass and carotenoid pigments. 

Submerged fermentation by N. intermedia in semi-synthetic medium showed that the formation of carotenoids can be enhanced by modulating various factors such as light, low pH, high aeration, and the addition of Mg2+ and Mn2+. When cultivated in thin stillage, 6.3 g/L ethanol was produced, along with protein-rich fungal biomass with potential application as feed. However, an additional step was needed to promote pigment production in the fungal biomass. 

Inspired by the traditional use of N. intermedia for food production by solid-state cultivation, the fungal biomass obtained from cultivation in thin stillage was used as inoculum in a subsequent solid-state fermentation step on surplus bread. The fungal product obtained contained up to 33% proteins and 1.2 mg carotenoids/g total material dry weight. By further combining bread as substrate with brewer’s spent grain, a nutrient-rich fungal-fermented product with an attractive texture was successfully produced. The solid-state cultivation resulted in an improved ratio of essential amino acids, and an increase in dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins, that added further value to the product. To scale up the process, a novel plug-flow bioreactor was developed and successfully operated semi-continuously, without the addition of an external inoculum. Furthermore, a techno-economic feasibility study of on-site solid-state fermentation in small-scale bakeries revealed that the implementation of this process to sustainably use surplus bread at bakery level is economically feasible. 

These studies lay the foundation for the development of N. intermedia as a tool to convert waste material into useful products, contributing to a fossil fuel-free future with positive impacts on the economy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Borås: Högskolan i Borås, 2021
Series
Skrifter från Högskolan i Borås, ISSN 0280-381X ; 122
Keywords
Neurospora intermedia, mycoprotein, carotenoids, feed, solid-state fermentation, circular bioeconomy
National Category
Environmental Biotechnology
Research subject
Resource Recovery
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-25692 (URN)978-91-89271-35-7 (ISBN)978-91-89271-36-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2021-09-10, C203, Allégatan 1, Borås, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2021-08-16 Created: 2021-06-29 Last updated: 2021-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Lennartsson, Patrik R.Ferreira, Jorge A.Taherzadeh, Mohammad JLundin, MagnusGmoser, Rebecca

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