Food bioconversions and metabolite production using immobilized cell technology

Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
S Norton, J C Vuillemard


This review explores recent advances in the use of immobilized cells for the production of metabolites used in the food industry, such as enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, alcohols, aroma compounds, polysaccharides, and pigments. Some food bioconversions such as fermentation of soy sauce and various hydrolysis are also considered. Special emphasis was placed on existing or potential industrial processes. This article also reports the effects of the reactor (configuration and working conditions), the immobilized cell physiological status (growing, nongrowing, or permeabilized), and of the carrier type, configuration, and size on the performance of immobilized cell systems. Compared with free cell fermentation, the main advantage of using immobilized cells is an increase in productivity, particularly in the case of continuous fermentation. For monoenzymatic reactions, nongrowing immobilized cells are often reported to exhibit a higher stability than free or immobilized enzymes.


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