Citric acid production; Solid state fermentation; Aspergillus niger
A solid state fermentation (SSF) method was used to produce citric acid by Aspergillus niger DS 1 using sugarcane bagasse as a
carrier and sucrose or molasses based medium as a moistening agent. Initially bagasse and wheat bran were compared as carrier.Bagasse was the most suitable carrier, as it did not show agglomeration after moistening with medium, resulting in better heat and mass transfer during fermentation and higher product yield. Different parameters such as moisture content, particle size, sugar level
and methanol concentration of the medium were optimised and 75% moisture level, 31.8 g sugar/100 g dry solid, 4% (v/w) methanol
and particles of the size between 1.2 and 1.6 mm were found to be optimal. Sucrose and clarified and non-clarified molasses medium were also tested as moistening agents for SSF and under optimised conditions, 20.2, 19.8 and 17.9 g citric acid /100 g of dry solid with yield of 69.6, 64.5 and 62.4% (based on sugar consumed) was obtained in sucrose, clarified and non-clarified molasses medium
respectively, after 9 days of fermentation.