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Microbial Physiology Applied to Process Optimisation: Lactic Acid Bacteria

Chapter

Abstract

The study of the interactions between the microorganism and its environment is what is usually recognised as microbial physiology. The environment of a microorganism can be the ecological niche where it is present in nature or the conditions under which it is cultivated in the laboratory or in an industrial installation. As the occurrence of a microbiological product is also the resultant of the interaction between the microorganism and its environment, we can see that production and microbial physiology are closely related or are the same thing. This fact is, in many occasions, overlooked by some microbiologists, who had been carried away by the advances in microbial genetics and molecular biology and by engineers who lack training in Biology, using microbiological systems for process development and applications. For example, waste water treatment, which for the engineers is a process of water purification involving a series of unitary operations, from the standpoint of microbial physiology, the process is one of biomass and product formation using the contents of the wastewater as substrate (Speece, 1994). The result of properly taking into account the needs of the microbiota involved in the process, is an efficient system of waste water treatment. The same principle can be applied to any biotechnological process involving microorganims. Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) have an increased interest, not only for traditional uses in food preservation (Stiles, 1996), but as probiotics (Salminen et al.,1996) and for the production of biodegradable plastics (Lipinski, E.S., 1981) of medical interest; for this last purpose, pure isomers are required.

Keywords

Lactic Acid Lactic Acid Bacterium Dilution Rate Chemostat Culture Lactobacillus Casei 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Belgrano y CaserosPROIMI — MIRCEN — UNTTucumánArgentina

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