OMOJASOLA, PATRICIA FOLAKEMI1* AND ADENIRAN, EUNICE ADERONKE1
1University of Ilorin, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Microbiology, P.M.B 1515 Ilorin, Nigeria
Accumulation of large quantities of agricultural residues results in deterioration of the environment and biomass loss which could be processed to yield value-added products like fuels and a variety of acids. The quest for a solution led to the fermentation of Ipomoea batatas using fungi. Aspergillus niger (ATCC 16404) and Aspergillus terreus (ATCC 20542) were used to ferment sweet potato peel (SPP), an agro-based waste. The physico-chemical analysis of the SPP was carried out. SPP was dried, ground, pre-treated with alkali and steam, re-dried and used as substrate in media containing mineral salt medium and inocula of A. niger and A. terreus. Fermentation was submerged at pH 5.0; 10% substrate concentration; 10 mL inocula size; temperature 250C for five days with carboxylmethylcellulose (CMC) as control. Optimization experiments were conducted by varying fermentation parameters. Results of physico-chemical analysis revealed carbohydrate 65.9%; sugars 22.60%; protein 5.38%; fibre 3.48%; fat 4.0% ash 4.02% and moisture 8.13%. Itaconic acid yield of 67.67+1.20 mg mL-1 and 70.67+2.60 mg mL-1 produced by A. niger and A. terreus from SPP respectively. The CMC yielded 3.00 +0.6 mg mL-1. Results of the optimization experiments showed higher yields of itaconic acid by A. niger and A. terreus to 112.67+5.20 mg mL-1 and 115.67+5.30 mg mL-1from SPP respectively at pH 4.0; 10% substrate concentration; 5 mL inocula size on Day-5 of the fermentation. This represented an increase in product yield by both organisms and supports the potential use of this waste for the industrial production of itaconic acid.
Keywords: Itaconic acid, Sweet-potato, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus niger.