Sorbose, an intermediate of Vitamin-C is produced by biological oxidation of sorbitol by Acetobacter suboxydans. The utility of oxygen vector (N-hexadecane) in enhancing the sorbose accumulation and its productivity was examined for sorbitol to sorbose bioconversion process. Shake flask fermentations were conducted using 1% to 6% (v/v) N-hexadecane. Higher sorbose production was observed in shake
flask containing 1–4% N-hexadecane as compared to shake flasks without N-hexadecane. A maximum of 82.12 kgm23 sorbose accumulated in 24 h by the addition of 4% N-hexadecane as against 64.83 kgm23 sorbose without the addition of N-hexadecane. However, the concentration of sorbose produced in the same time decreased when 5% and 6% N-hexadecane were used. Batch sorbose fermentation conducted using 4% N-hexadecane demonstrated decrease in the process time from 14 h to 12 h. The productivity increased from 14.3
kgm23 h21 to 16.7 kgm23 h21 when 4% N-hexadecane was used. Fed-batch fermentation using 4% N-hexadecane was over in 20 h with
a productivity of 15.9 kgm23 h21, and a sorbose accumulation of 311.68 kgm23 was obtained. The same fed-batch fermentation finished in 25 h when no N-hexadecane was used. A productivity of 12.6 kgm23 h21 and a final sorbose accumulation of 316 kgm23 were obtained.The increase in productivity and lower process time were achieved by the addition of N-hexadecane to the fermentation medium.