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Lactic Acid Bacteria as Cell Factories
2023, 77-108

Lactic acid microbial production and recovery: Review and recent advances in bioprocess integration

Catherine Béal, Pedro Arana-Agudelo, Tahmineh Farel, Marwen Moussa, Violaine Athès

Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR SayFood, Palaiseau, France.


Lactic acid is an organic acid with major biological and industrial roles. It is an essential feedstock for the food, drug and chemical industry, and, more recently, for elaborating bio-based polymers such as polylactic acid. Most lactic acid production is achieved following carbohydrate fermentation pathways using homofermentative lactic acid bacteria in rich media. Research on efficient lactic acid bioprocesses has focused on the one hand on reducing the cost of fermentable carbohydrates and, on the other hand, on facing acid and pH inhibition caused by lactic acid accumulation during fermentation, which is still a challenge for efficient bioprocesses. A promising means to overcome lactic acid inhibition is the implementation of in-situ or in-stream product recovery (ISPR) technologies for lactic acid removal coupled to biological production. This work presents a review on lactic acid upstream processes, including recent advances: fermentation of renewable carbon sources, use of acid stress-resistant microorganisms and process operation mode. Regarding downstream processes, reactive liquid-liquid extraction, ion exchange, nanofiltration, and electrodialysis are reviewed, and prospects for implementing these technologies for extractive fermentation are discussed.

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