The fermentation broth recovered after the Fermentation process is composed of a mix of substances such as unutilized nutrients, microorganisms, production proteins, fermentation additives and water. The end use of the protein of interest requires it to be at a specific purity depending upon the application such as Food Processing, Animal Feed etc. Hence an optimum Downstream Processing technique is essential to recover the products of interest from the large fermentation broth.
Though this technique may seem to be pure process oriented, the reality is more than it meets the eye. Downstream process is among the major factors which is directly related to the cost of the finished product. An efficient process allows for maximum extraction of the target protein from the fermentation broth while maintaining its activity specifications. Moreover perfecting a process in the laboratory and actually performing it in large scale gives quite different results. It is imperative to maintain the same efficiency standards during bulk processing as previously conducted in laboratory scales, else the final results may vary. Another factor towards achieving efficiency is developing a process which works constantly once initiated, saving valuable overhead costs and energy resources.
In Industrial Biotechnology, especially in the manufacture of Industrial Enzymes, the processing steps for recovery of enzymes from the fermentation broth is applied in a systematic and continous order. They slightly differ depending upon the Fermentation type (Solid Substrate or Submerged) but basically have the same principles. The steps involve removal of insolubles by pre-filtration, cell disruption if the product is intra-cellular, cell separation and purification & concentration of the target protein prior to formulation. There is one additional step in Solid Substrate fermentation, i.e Extraction of the Enzymes from the growth substrate or biomass.
Established industrial techniques such as Centrifugation, Homogenization & Ultrasonification, Precipitation, Membrane filtration such as Microfiltration & Ultrafiltration etc are employed for the steps individually.
Designing an efficient downstream processing technique and executing it to perfection is the ardent task which our bioprocess engineers undertake at Noor Enzymes.