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Summary

In this study, perstractive fermentation of intracellular Monascus pigments in nonionic surfactant micelle aqueous solution had been studied. The permeability of cell membrane modified by nonionic surfactant might have influence on the rate of export of intracellular pigments into its extracellular broth while nearly no effect on the final extracellular pigment concentration. However, the solubilization of pigments in nonionic surfactant micelles strongly affected the final extracellular pigment concentration. The solubilization capacity of micelles depended on the kind of nonionic surfactant, the super-molecule assembly structure of nonionic surfactant in an aqueous solution, and the nonionic surfactant concentration. Elimination of pigment degradation by export of intracellular Monascus pigments and solubilizing them into nonionic surfactant micelles was also confirmed experimentally. Thus, nonionic surfactant micelle aqueous solution is potential for replacement of organic solvent for perstractive fermentation of intracellular product.