Itaconic Acid Production from Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L) Using Fungi in Solid State Fermentation

Ajiboye A. E., Adedayo M. R., Babatunde S. K., Odaibo D. A.,, Ajuwon I. B. & Ekanem, H. I.


This study evaluates the potentials of Phoenix dactylifera L (Date fruits) as possible alternative raw materials for itaconic acid production using naturally occurring fungi. Date fruit (pulp) was used as a substrate in solid state fermentation for the production of itaconic acid using naturally occurring fungus.The date fruit (pulp) was de-capped from its seed manually with the aid of a knife and dried in an oven at 60 0C and was grounded using an Excella Mixer grinder. The fungus used was naturally isolated by fermentation of substrate (date pulp) and was identified as Aspergillus niger. Proximate analysis was carried out on the substrate using standard methods. Parameters such as substrate concentration, inoculum size and fermentation period were varied using standard methods to determine its effect on itaconic acid production. Assay for itaconic acid production was carried out using standard methods at a wavelength of 385nm. Amount of itaconic acid produced was derived by translation of absorbance values on the itaconic acid curve. The substrate had a high carbohydrate content of 72.29%. The fermentation results showed maximum production of itaconic acid of 20.75±0.25mg/ml using 40g substrate, 15.13±1.13mg/ml using 2 ml inoculums size of spore suspension (2×105 spores/ml) and a maximum yield of 16.88±0.13mg/ml at day 1 of fermentation period. On optimization with 40g substrate and 2 ml inoculums for 3 days a maximum yield was observed at day 2 of fermentation with a maximum yield of 25.00±1.00mg/ml. The highest acidic level throughout the fermentation period was observed to be at pH 4.2. From the study it was concluded that date pulp is a promising substrate and could be utilized by Aspergillus niger for the production of itaconic acid.

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