The exploitation of various agro-industrial wastes for microbial cell mass production of Kluyveromyces marxianus, kefir, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae is reported in the present investigation. Specifically, the promotional effect of whole orange pulp on cell growth in mixtures consisting of cheese whey, molasses, and potato pulp in submerged fermentation processes was examined. A 2- to 3-fold increase of cell mass was observed in the presence of orange pulp. Likewise, the promotional effect of brewer's spent grains on cell growth in solid state fermentation of mixtures of whey, molasses, potato pulp, malt spent rootlets, and orange pulp was examined. The cell mass was increased by 3-fold for K. marxianus and 2-fold for S. cerevisiae in the presence of these substrates, proving their suitability for single-cell protein production without the need for extra nutrients. Cell growth kinetics were also studied by measurements of cell counts at various time intervals at different concentrations of added orange pulp. The protein content of the fermented substrates was increased substantially, indicating potential use of mixed agro-industrial wastes of negligible cost, as protein-enriched livestock feed, achieving at the same time creation of added value and waste minimization.
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