Succinic acid production from wheat using a biorefining strategy

Chenyu Du, Sze Ki Carol Lin, Apostolis Koutinas, Ruohang Wang, Colin Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


The biosynthesis of succinic acid from wheat flour was investigated in a two-stage bio-process. In the first stage, wheat flour was converted into a generic microbial feedstock either by fungal fermentation alone or by combining fungal fermentation for enzyme and fungal bio-mass production with subsequent flour hydrolysis and fungal autolysis. In the second stage, the generic feedstock was converted into succinic acid by bacterial fermentation by Actinobacillus succinogenes. Direct fermentation of the generic feedstock produced by fungal fermentation alone resulted in a lower succinic acid production, probably due to the low glucose and nitrogen concentrations in the fungal broth filtrate. In the second feedstock production strategy, flour hydrolysis conducted by mixing fungal broth filtrate with wheat flour generated a glucose-rich stream, while the fungal bio-mass was subjected to autolysis for the production of a nutrient-rich stream. The possibility of replacing a commercial semi-defined medium by these two streams was investigated sequentially. A. succinogenes fermentation using only the wheat-derived feedstock resulted in a succinic acid concentration of almost 16 g l -1 with an overall yield of 0.19 g succinic acid per g wheat flour. These results show that a wheat-based bio-refinery employing coupled fungal fermentation and subsequent flour hydrolysis and fungal autolysis can lead to a bacterial feedstock for the efficient production of succinic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1270
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


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