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Abstract

Some parameters of the production of an alkaline protease by Rhizopus oryzae in the solid state fermentation of wheat bran were optimized. Using the optimum parameters of an inoculum age of 7 days, an incubation time of 9 days, an amount of CZAPEK-DOX (liquid medium) of 6 ml/g bran and an incubation temperature of 33°C, an activity of 50 U/g bran was achieved. The initial pH of the CZAPEK-DOX medium had little effect. Re-incubation of mouldy bran with only fresh CZAPEK-DOX yielded 3 times total activity compared to single-cycle fermentation. As for the effect of the amount CZAPEK-DOX medium, the water constituent contributed more to activity increase than did the salt component. The ARRHENIUS activation energies were 23 and 7.9 kcal/mole below and above the optimum of 33°C, respectively. In all the studies, along with protease production, variation of protein content and specific activity were also observed. Attempts were made to explain the effects and also gauge their implications for large-scale production.