Today, submerged fermentation – the main fermentation method in the production of citric acid, glycerol or lactic acid, among other products – is the only method for producing natamycin.
However, according to the results of a recent study by various authors, entitled ‘Bioresource Technology’, natamycin production through solid-state fermentation has been achieved; or in other words, by the culture of microorganisms in solid or semi-solid media and with no water.
To achieve this, and in order to obtain a maximum concentration of natamycin, a mixture of a substrate containing wheat bran, rapeseed, rice husk, and crude glycerin was kept at a temperature of 28⁰C and at 70% humidity for 8 days.
Continuous natamycin production was also obtained by repeated batch fermentation for 5 cycles.
As a consequence of this process, the costs of the raw materials in natamycin production were reduced by 50.05%, and energy consumption levels and the discharge of wastewater were also reduced – a factor that is considered extremely important in industrial fermentation.
This is, therefore, the first study of this type that may open the doors to this process, which initially appears to be highly beneficial – especially in terms of reducing costs for the natural production of natamycin.