Fermentative Itaconic Acid Production

Amina Ahmed El-Imam, Chenyu Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Itaconic acid is an organic acid that is used as a platform chemical for the production of various value added chemicals such as poly-itaconic acid, resins biofuel components, ionomer cements etc. Itaconic acid and its derivatives have wide applications in the textile, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The depletion of fossil fuels and the need for sustainable development require that fermentative itaconic acid production replace petroleumbased methods of itaconic acid production. Various microorganisms have been employed in itaconic acid fermentations, with the most prolific producer being Aspergillus terreus. Over 80 g/L itaconic acid has been produced in fermentations using glucose. However, there is an increasing interest in the utilization of lignocellulosic materials for itaconic acid production due to the concern of food security. This review summarizes the latest progress in fermentative itaconic acid production with emphasis on the different species and strains of microorganisms used, substrate types and fermentation conditions. The current industrial applications of itaconic acid and its potential use as a drop-in or novel substitute monomer to replace petroleum-based chemicals were also extensively explored. Recent trends in itaconic acid research summarized in this review paper indicate that itaconic acid can be produced cost effectively from sustainable raw materials and have the potential to replace petro-based chemicals in various applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1000119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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