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Zygomycetes-based biorefinery: Present status and future prospects

Journal article
Authors J. A. Ferreira
P. R. Lennartsson
Lars Edebo
M. J. Taherzadeh
Published in Bioresource Technology
Volume 135
Pages 523-532
ISSN 0960-8524
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 523-532
Language en
Keywords Biorefinery, Zygomycetes, Metabolites, Enzymes, Cell mass, fungus rhizopus-oryzae, microsporus var. rhizopodiformis, fumaric-acid, production, value-added coproducts, stirred-tank reactor, lactic-acid, l(+)-lactic acid, mucor-circinelloides, corncob hydrolysate, ethanol-production
Subject categories Microbiology


Fungi of the phylum Zygomycetes fulfil all requirements for being utilized as core catalysts in biorefineries, and would be useful in creating new sustainable products. Apart from the extended use of Zygomycetes in preparing fermented foods, industrial metabolites such as lactic acid, fumaric acid, and ethanol are produced from a vast array of feedstocks with the aid of Zygomycetes. These fungi produce enzymes that facilitate their assimilation of various complex substrates, e.g., starch, cellulose, phytic acid, and proteins, which is relevant from an industrial point of view. The enzymes produced are capable of catalyzing various reactions involved in biodiesel production, preparation of corticosteroid drugs, etc. Biomass produced with the aid of Zygomycetes consists of proteins with superior amino acid composition, but also lipids and chitosan. The biomass is presently being tested for animal feed purposes, such as fish feed, as well as for lipid extraction and chitosan production. Complete or partial employment of Zygomycetes in biorefining procedures is consequently attractive, and is expected to be implemented within a near future.

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