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Keywords:

  • xylitol fermentation;
  • corncob hemicellulose hydrolysate;
  • aldehydes inhibition;
  • Candida tropicalis

The effects of four aldehydes (furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, vanillin and syringaldehyde), which were found in the corncob hemicellulose hydrolysate, on the growth and xylitol fermentation of Candida tropicalis were investigated. The results showed that vanillin was the most toxic aldehyde for the xylitol fermentation, followed by syringaldehyde, furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. Moreover, the binary combination tests revealed that furfural amplified the toxicity of other aldehydes and the toxicities of other binary combinations without furfural were simply additive. Based on the fermentation experiments, it was demonstrated that the inhibition of aldehydes could be alleviated by prolonging the fermentation incubation, increasing the initial cell concentration, enhancing the initial pH value and minimizing the furfural levels in the hydrolysate evaporation process. The strategies that we proposed to suppress the inhibitory effects of the aldehydes successfully avoided the complicated and costly detoxifications. Our findings could be potentially adopted for the industrial xylitol fermentation from hydrolysates. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:1181–1189, 2013