Open Fermentative Production of L-Lactic Acid from Distillers’ Grains by Lactobacillus casei CICC 6056

Jin Zheng, Yingying Liu, Xiaohong Sun, Qunhui Wang, Hui Zou, Juan Wang, Ming Gao


Distillers’ grains (DG) are potential fermentable sugar substrates for the production of value-added products. This study focused on the development of an open fermentation process for the production of L-lactic acid from DG using Lactobacillus casei CICC 6056. The open fermentation process was feasible, resulting in an L-lactic acid yield similar to that obtained with sterilized fermentation. However, a decrease in pH below 5.0 after 24 h resulted in a poor L-lactic acid concentration of 9.18 g/L and an inferior reducing sugar conversion rate of 53.6%. Therefore, an optimal pH adjustment method was sought. A pH adjustment to 6.5 every 24 h effectively improved the L-lactic acid concentration to 21.3 g/L with a 97.8% reducing sugar conversion rate. Furthermore, the application of a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process at 50 °C in open condition increased the L-lactic acid concentration to 25.0 g/L. This yield was superior to L-lactic acid fermentation from DG using a separate hydrolysis and fermentation method (21.3 g/L) and from a commercial sugar in batch culture (23.6 g/L). These results demonstrated that L. casei CICC 6056 has great industrial potential as a superior candidate strain for the production of L-lactic acid from DG due to its broad applicability in a wide temperature range (from 37 to 50 °C).


Open fermentation; L-Lactic production; Distillers’ grains; Lactobacillus casei

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