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Nutritional Value of SCP Nowadays, considerable information is available on the composition of microbial cells e.g.

protein, amino acid, vitamin, and minerals (Litchfield, 1979). Commercial value of SCP depends on their nutritional performance and nevertheless, it has to be evaluated to the prevalent feed protein. SCPs either from alkanes or methanols, are characterized by good content and balance in essential amino acids (Senez, 1986). Composition of growth medium governs the protein and lipid contents of microorganisms. Yeasts, moulds and higher fungi have higher cellular lipid content and lower nitrogen and protein contents, when grown in media having high amount of available carbon as energy source and low nitrogen (Litchfield, 1979). Ignoring a few extreme values, the mean crude protein in dry matter of algae and yeasts, on conventional substrates, lies between 50 and 60 per cent, for alkane yeasts between 55 and 65 per cent, and for bacteria about 80 per cent. A high content of nucleic acid free protein is extremely important for the economic efficiency of the procedure in SCP production. Because of high protein and fat contents, the contribution of carbohydrates to the nutritional value of SCP is not of prime importance. The crude ash content is determined in particular by the nutrient salts of the fermentation medium (Roth, 1982). Estimation of crude protein is based on total nitrogen which is multiplied by the factor 6.25. The protein content of microorganisms computed in this manner does not give the exact figure of protein content, as in the estimation of total nitrogen, the value of nucleic acid is also included which is somewhat erroneous. The most important measure of nutritional value is the actual performance of SCP products as determined in feeding studies. The determinants of the utility of SCP product for application as food for human beings and feed for animals differ. For human beings, protein digestibility and protein efficiency ratio (PER), biological value or net protein utilization (NPU), determined in rats, are the parameters for food application, whereas for animals, metabolizable energy, protein digestibility and feed conversion ratio (weight of ration consumer/weight gain) are the measures or performance in broiler, chickens, swine and calves (and egg laying in hens). Digestibility (D) is the percentage of total nitrogen consumed, which is absorbed through the alimentary tract. It is calculated as below: Ni - Fn D= Ni where, Ni = nitrogen ingested from SCP. Fn = nitrogen content in faeces after feeding SCP Production of Yeast Biomass In Primary Metabolites, much has been discussed about the use of yeasts in fermentation since centuries. Consumption of baker's yeast (S. cerevisiae) as food in Germany during World War I increased its importance. Since then, rapid development took place in biotechnological applications of S. cerevisiae, as far as culture development, process optimization and scale up of products are concerned. World production of yeast biomass is of the order of 0.4 million metric tonnes per annum including 0.2 million tonnes baker's yeast alone. Yeasts synthesize amino acids from inorganic acids and sulphur supplemented in the form of salts. They get carbon and energy sources from the organic wastes,e.g. molasses, starchy materials, milk whey, fruit pulp, wood pulp and sulphite liquor. It is obvious that biomass of S. cerevisiae produced on sugarcane molasses differs from that of bear. Yield of yeast biomass is greatly affected by many factors similar to bacteria. Yield corresponds to growth nutrients, organic wastes, temperature, culture, oxygen, etc. Yield of yeasts is given in parentheses in Table 18.2. Bennett et al. (1969) have given the typical equations for the growth of yeasts on carbohydrates or hydrocarbons: Carbohydrates :

8n CHO + 0.8 nO2 + 0.19n NH4 + trace elements 0.8n CO2+1.3 nH2O + 80,000n KCal. Hydrocarbons: 2nCH2+2nO2+0.19n NH4+ trace elements 1.5 H2O + 200,000n KCal.

n(CH1.7O95N0.12 Ash) +

n(CH1.7O0.5N0.19 Ash) + nCO2 +

Factors Affecting the Yield of Yeast Biomass Like bacteria, growth and yield of yeasts are also affected by the following factors: (i) organic substrate and nitrogen ratio (optimum C : N ratio favoring high protein content should be between 7:1 and 10:1); (ii) pH of nutrient medium (pH should be in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 to minimize growth of bacterial contaminates); (iii) temperature (it differs from organism to organism). Most yeasts have specific growth rate in the range of 30C to 34C. Some strains also grow in the range of 40-45C; (iv) oxygen (for growth on carbohydrates), O2required should be 1 g/g of dried cells, and for growth on nalkanes it should be about 2 g/g dried cells); (v) maintenance of sterile condition through out the process and (vi) suitable strain of yeast. Recovery of Yeast Biomass Yeast cells are small in size (5-8 m), the density of which reaches to 1.1 g/ml. Post-fermentation treatment of food yeast is shown in Fig. 18.2. Yeast cells are recovered by decantation-centrifugation (including washing) drying treatment methods. After washing undesirable traces of medium are removed which are again recycled for economic reasons. As a result of final harvesting by rotary vacuum filter a cake containing 20-40 per cent dry matter is obtained which is then dried to get a product of 6-10 per cent water content (Riviere, 1977).

The process of SCP production from any microorganism or substrate would have the following basic steps: 1. Provision of a carbon source; it may need physical and/or chemical pretreatments. 2. Addition, to the carbon source, of sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients needed to support optimal growth of the selected microorganism. 3. Prevention of contamination by maintaining sterile or hygienic conditions. The medium components may be heated or sterilized by filtration and fermentation equipments may be sterilized. 4. The selected microorganism is inoculated in a pure state. 5. SCP processes are highly aerobic (except those using algae). Therefore, adequate aeration must be provided. In addition, cooling is necessary as considerable heat is generated. 6. The microbial biomass is recovered from the medium. 7. Processing of the biomass for enhancing its usefulness and/or storability. The selection of certain microbial strain is very important, some of the criteria are: Performance (growth rate, productivity, yield) on the specific. preferably low-cost substrates to be used Temperature and pH tolerance Oxygen requirements, heat generation during fermentation and foaming characteristics Growth morphology and genetic stability in the fermentation Ease of recovery, and requirements for further downstream processing Structure and composition of the final product, in terms of protein

It has been calculated that 100 lbs of yeast will produce 250 tons of proteins in 24 hours, whereas a 1000 lbs steer will synthesize only 1 lb of protein 24 hours and this after consuming 12 to 20 lbs of plant proteins. Similar, algae grown in ponds can produce 20 tons (dry weight) of protein, per acre, per year. However, the main problem of SCP production is the relatively high cost in the downstream processing and marketing SCP as food. Using waste materials as substrate provides lower yield of biomass than using more defined substrates, many processes are required to increase the biomass concentrations including centrifugation, flotation, precipitation, coagulation and filtration, or the use of semi-permeable membranes. SCP also treated with other processes to kill the microbes, increase the digestibility, and to reduce the nucleic acid content. These processes require extra costs which may exceed the costs for conventional food production. The removal or reduction of nucleic acid content of various SCP's is achieved with one of the following treatments: chemical treatment with NaOH; treatment of cells with 10% NaCl; thermal shock.

These methods aim to reduce the RNA content from about 7% to 1% which is considered within acceptable levels.

Problem 1 : Present fermentation procedure for producing yeast utilizes liquid hydrocarbon. The yeast removes most of the paraffinic portion, leaving behind aromatic fraction and some of the more highly branched paraffins. This aromatic fraction is difficult to separate completely from the cells at harvesting procedure. However, this must be accomplished because of the potential carcinogenic activity. Problem 2 : The protein content of several yeast is low on one or more of the essential amino acids. However, this can be solved by fortifying the product with amino acids obtained from bacterial fermentation.

Table 18.1. Single cell protein (SCP) and mycoprotein produced on the selected substrates. Protein (% /100g., on Microgial microorganisms groups Substrates dry weight basis) a Chlorella pyrenoidosa (36) CO2 (10%), light Algae Scenedesmus acutus (20)b CO2 sunlight Spirulina maxima(15)b 53 CO2 (5%), combustion gases, bicarbonate, sunlight (in pond) Achromobacter delvacvate Diesel oil in fermenter Bacillus megaterium Collagen meat packing waste in fermenter Bacteria Cellumonas sp. (0.45)c 87 Bagasse Methylomonas clara(0.5)c 13 Methanol Pseudomonas so. (1.0)c n-alkanes fuel oil Nocardia sp. (0.98)c n-alkanes Actinomycetes Thermomonpspora Cellulose pulp 5.6 fusca (0.4)c Fungi Candida lipolytica(0.88)c 65-69 n-alkanes C. utilis (0.39)c Potato starch waste B. utilis 54 Sulphite liquor Saccharomyces Molasses 53 cerevisiae (0.5)c I. Yeasts Saccharomyces Beer 45 cerevisiae (0.5)c S. fragilis 54 Milk whey Rhodotorula glutinis Domestic sewage Torulopsis sp. Methanol Aspergillus niger 50 Molasses II.Moulds Trichoderma viride 64 Straw, starch Paecilomyces varioti 55 Sulphite waste liquor Agaricus campestris 36-45 Glucose III. Mushrooms Morchella crassipes 31 Glucose, cheese whey, sulphite, liquor.