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Valuable compounds from yeasts can be efficiently recovered

Oleaginous yeasts have been recognized as promising sources of value-added compounds, which can be used in different sectors, including the production of biofuels, food ingredients or even in cosmetic industries. However, the extraction of multiple compounds that are accumulated inside the yeast cells, as well as their subsequent separation, remain as major bottlenecks hindering the implementation of such bioprocess on an industrial scale.

Now, researchers from BCBT group at the Technical University of Denmark, in collaboration with a team of scientists from Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands) have demonstrated that lipids and carotenoids can be efficiently and simultaneously recovered from the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides. Both compounds can also be obtained with very high purity. The study was recently published in the journal Separation and Purification Technology.

“Besides extracting lipids and carotenoids with high efficiency and purity, we could also recover proteins from oleaginous yeast, which add extra value to the downstream processing, increasing its economic potential. These findings represent an important step towards the development of a more sustainable technology for the production of lipids and carotenoids”, explains the lead author, Dr. Solange I. Mussatto.

“We also found that γ-carotene was the main carotenoid produced by the oleaginous yeast. Moreover, this carotenoid was more suitable to be used as a standard for the determination of other carotenoids such as torulene”, remarked Zhijia Liu, co-author of the study.

Dr. Corjan van der Berg and Dr. Ruud Weusthuis from Bioprocess Engineering, Wageningen University and Research, and Dr. Giuliano Dragone from BCBT group also participated in this research.

You can download the full paper for free (before December 24, 2020) here:

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

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