Successive Fermentation of Aguamiel and Molasses by <em>Aspergillus oryzae</em> and <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> to Obtain High Purity Fructooligosaccharides
Foods. 2022 Jun 17;11(12):1786. doi: 10.3390/foods11121786.
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are usually synthesized with pure enzymes using highly concentrated sucrose solutions. In this work, low-cost aguamiel and molasses were explored as sucrose alternatives to produce FOS, via whole-cell fermentation, with an Aspergillus oryzae DIA-MF strain. FOS production process was optimized through a central composite experimental design, with two independent variables: initial sucrose concentration in a medium composed of aguamiel and molasses (AgMe), and inoculum concentration. The optimized process-165 g/L initial sucrose in AgMe (adjusted with concentrated molasses) and 1 × 107 spores/mL inoculum concentration-resulted in an FOS production of 119 ± 12 g/L and a yield of 0.64 ± 0.05 g FOS/g GFi. Among the FOSs produced were kestose, nystose, 1-fructofuranosyl-nystose, and potentially a novel trisaccharide produced by this strain. To reduce the content of mono- and disaccharides in the mixture, run a successive fermentation was run with two Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. Fermentations run with S. cerevisiae S227 improved FOS purity in the mixture from 39 ± 3% to 61.0 ± 0.6% (w/w) after 16 h of fermentation. This study showed that agro-industrial wastes such as molasses with aguamiel are excellent alternatives as substrate sources for the production of prebiotic FOS, resulting in a lower-cost process.