The immobilisation of lactic acid bacteria

The continuous production of lactic acid for acidification
of mash used for beer production, achieved by immobilisation
of special bacteria strain using a carrier to be developed
for this purpose under conditions to be defined.

Motivation: In order to be able to enter the German beer market, a brewery should comply with the German Purity Law. This law states, among other things, that the necessary mash for the production of beer may only be acidified with lactic acid produced by the brewery itself and out of brewery raw materials. Acidification is necessary in order to be able to achieve optimal enzyme action during the malt extraction. BAVARIA B.V. is already active in the German market inasmuch as it has been granted a (provisional) licence for the sale of alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic beer from BAVARIA B.V. is not yet being sold in GERMANY. German breweries, in comparison with Dutch breweries, produce relatively little non-alcoholic beer. This is due, in particular, to the fact that the process for producing it is more complicated than the production process for alcoholic beers. Present techniques are not capable of providing continuous production of lactic acid for acidification of the mash. The TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN is therefore propagating the idea of batch production. However, batch production requires high investments from the breweries because approximately 10% of the extraction liquid (wort) has to be fermented and stored in special tanks. It would be ideal if in the near future a technique were to become available for the continuous production of lactic acid so that the breweries could avoid such high investments and considerably increase the degree of flexibility in production. Furthermore, there is great interest worldwide in the industrial use of these techniques, which can be used for both the production of non-alcoholic beer and alcoholic beer. Both types of beer can, by using these techniques, be produced in compliance with the German Purity Law. In cooperation with BAVARIA B.V. CULTOR LTD. has produced a carrier by which this technique may possibly be developed. This carrier is now being used for the immobilisation of yeast. The principle of the carrier is the essence for the immobilisation technique for lactic acid bacteria yet to be developed. CULTOR LTD. has both the knowledge and production (manufacturing) facilities available to make an adjustment of this carrier possible. Statement of the problem A proper description of the problems is to be found in the essay "The application of immobilised lactic acid bacteria in fermentation processes" by Marc R. Smiths and Jan A. M. de Bont. The major difficulty to be overcome is that of finding conditions in which an optimum interaction is possible between a selected bacteria strain and an immobilisation carrier to be constructed and/or adapted. This in order to obtain continuous production of a constant quantity of lactic acid. Controllability of the production of lactic acid may be achieved by immobilisation of the lactic acid bacteria using a carrier which has been adapted, as necessary, to the given conditions. BAVARIA B.V. has experience with the immobilisation of yeast for the production of non-alcoholic beer based on an immobilisation technique in which this special patented carrier is used. In collaboration with the TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN, a selection will be made of the lactic acid bacteria strains which may be suitable for the immobilisation process, and the interaction between the carrier and the bacteria strain will be investigated in the laboratories of the TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN and BAVARIA B.V. More detailed research into these results will be conducted by means of trial equipment to be constructed by BAVARIA B.V. During the laboratory phase, CULTOR LTD. will assist BAVARIA B.V. and the TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN in the selection of the strain of bacteria, on the basis of information which it has available concerning the composition of the carrier. During the trial equipment phase, the carrier will by means of the CULTOR LTD. production facilities, be adjusted to the requirements which will have been formulated during the laboratory phase; if necessary this will also take place during the laboratory phase. The investigation to be able to determine whether the carrier can comply with the requirements stated will be carried out in the CULTOR LTD. laboratory. These modifications may, for example, focus on changing the load, changing the particle size or influencing the number of active groups. Whether or not a carrier is suitable, i.e. the extent to which the interaction can be achieved between carrier and bacteria strain, will depend on the nature of the organisms, the carrier material, the composition of the substrate and the capacity of the equipment.
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Project costs: 
660 000.00€
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