We describe an algorithm for the continuous monitoring of the biomass and ethanol concentrations as well as the growth rate in the Mezcal fermentation process. The algorithm performs its task having available only the online measurements of the redox potential. The procedure combines an artificial neural network (ANN) that relates the redox potential to the ethanol and biomass concentrations with a nonlinear observer-based algorithm that uses the ANN biomass estimations to infer the growth rate of this fermentation process. The results show that the redox potential is a valuable indicator of the metabolic activity of the microorganisms during Mezcal fermentation. In addition, the estimated growth rate can be considered as a direct evidence of the presence of mixed culture growth in the process. Usually, mixtures of microorganisms could be intuitively clear in this kind of processes; however, the total biomass data do not provide definite evidence by themselves. In this paper, the detailed design of the software sensor as well as its experimental application is presented at the laboratory level.
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P. Escalante-Minakata thanks CONACyT for a postdoctoral fellowship allowing her to work at the University of Colima. V. Ibarra-Junquera thanks PROMEP for the financial support. H.C. Rosu is partially supported through CONACyT Project 46980.
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Escalante-Minakata, P., Ibarra-Junquera, V., Rosu, H.C. et al. Online monitoring of Mezcal fermentation based on redox potential measurements. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 32, 47–52 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-008-0219-3
- Mixed cultures
- Software sensor
- Redox potential
- Growth rates