[en] Optimization ; Curdlan gum ; Fermentation ; Date juice ; Viscometry ; Valorization
[en] The present study was undertaken to investigate the possibility of using date palm juice byproducts for curdlan production by Rhizobium radiobacter ATCC 6466(TM) in batch experiments. A number of operational parameters, namely pH value, temperature range, inoculum ratio, agitation speed, carbon concentration, nitrogen source, and fermentation time, were investigated in terms of their optimal values for as well as individual and synergistic effects on curdlan production. The findings indicated that the strain exhibited a high ability to use the natural substrate under investigation. A curdlan production yield of 22.83 g/l was obtained in 500-ml agitated flasks (50 ml) when the strain was cultivated in the optimal medium (pH, 7; ammonium sulphate concentration, 2 g/l; date glucose juice concentration, 120 g/l) operating at 30 degrees C with an inoculum ratio of 5 ml/100 ml, an agitation speed of 180 rpm, and a fermentation period of 51 h. The purified date byproducts-curdlan (DBP-curdlan) had a molecular weight of 180 kDa, a linear structure composed exclusively of beta-(1,3)-glucosidic linkages, a melting temperature (T(m)) and glass transition temperature (T(g)) of 1.24 and -3.55 degrees C. respectively. The average measured heights of its molecules were noted to fluctuate between 14.1 +/- 0.07 and 211.73 +/- 0.6 mu m. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.