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Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
Vol. 38, No.1, 2015; Pages: 199-205

An autocatalytic kinetic model for describing microbial growth during fermentation

Albert Ibarz, Pedro E. D. Augusto

Department of Food Technology (DTA), School of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering (ETSEA), University of Lleida (UdL), Lleida, Spain


The mathematical modelling of the behaviour of microbial growth is widely desired in order to control, predict and design food and bioproduct processing, stability and safety. This work develops and proposes a new semi-empirical mathematical model, based on an autocatalytic kinetic, to describe the microbial growth through its biomass concentration. The proposed model was successfully validated using 15 microbial growth patterns, covering the three most important types of microorganisms in food and biotechnological processing (bacteria, yeasts and moulds). Its main advantages and limitations are discussed, as well as the interpretation of its parameters. It is shown that the new model can be used to describe the behaviour of microbial growth.

Keywords: Biochemical engineering, Bioprocessing, Kinetics, Modelling



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