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Sustainable production of natural food ingredients

The use of renewable feedstocks as carbon and nutrient sources for fermentation opens great opportunities to add value to underutilized and low-cost materials from agriculture and agro-industrial sectors while also contributes to a more sustainable economy. However, due to the complex structure of such materials, they are not easily converted by microorganisms and efforts are required to obtain cost-competitive and efficient biomanufacturing processes.

In a recent study published in the scientific journal Bioresource Technology, we have demonstrated that it is possible to improve product formation and tolerance of the non-conventional yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides to inhibitors present in hydrolysates obtained from wheat straw.

"In this study, we improved the yeast’s ability to convert sugars from complex media produced from renewable feedstocks by applying the technique of adaptive laboratory evolution", explains Solange I. Mussatto, Professor in Biobased Technologies and Sustainability at DTU Bioengineering.

The yeast strains obtained presented better performance to grow in hydrolysate medium, and improved ability to accumulate lipids and carotenoids when compared to the wild-type starting strain.

"Basically, we created conditions that stimulated the yeast to develop natural mechanisms to grow faster when cultivated in these complex media", said Dr. Giuliano Dragone, Senior Researcher and co-author of the study.

"Our strains are non-GMO, which means that no genetic engineering has been involved. This offers new natural alternatives to attend the consumer needs", concluded Prof. Solange Mussatto.

This work was supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF), Denmark, and the China Scholarship Council (CSC).


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