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Mastering the Fermentation Process

Mastering the Fermentation Process

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Published by: shailabhr on May 12, 2010
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Maria Uusimaa
 Application Manager VaisalaHelsinki, Finland 
Mastering thefermentation process
Oxygen and carbon dioxidemeasurements for fermentation
 A specic group of proteins, largely unknown to the general public but
used in various industrial processes, are
manufactured by a Finnish company.Roal Corporation produces theseenzyme proteins for the needs of food,
paper, baking, and textile industries. e
biological process utilized to produce the
enzymes is called fermentation.
Roal produces enzymes in submerged
fermentation units. e company is jointly owned by ABF Ingredients, adivision of Associated British Foods,and Altia Corporation, a publicly held
beverage company that focuses on wines
and spirits and operates in the Nordic
and Baltic countries. e plant is located
in Rajamäki, Finland and it produces
enzyme products mainly for use in the
textile industry, for example in cloth
desizing, denim nishing or bionishing.In the adjacent pilot plant, new research
projects for novel enzyme processes
are carried out. e person in charge of Roal’s pilot plant is R&D Manager DanHaglund.
Fermentation basics
e souring of milk to yogurt, the risingof bread dough with yeast, or the conver-sion of sugar to alcohol in wine making
or beer brewing are common everyday 
examples of fermentation.
Fermentation is a chemical changebrought about by the action of micro-organisms. In industrial fermentation,
the term is used broadly to refer to thegrowth of micro-organisms on a growth
medium. e fermentation process itself 
typically takes place in a tank called abioreactor or fermentor, but the wholeproduction process can be composed
of multiple process steps that rene theraw materials to the end product. eseprocess steps include raw material treat-ments such as blending and sterilizationas well as end product processing suchas ltration, concentration, drying, andnally packaging.
In the heart of the fermentation
process - the bioreactor - the control of 
acidity and temperature of the growthmedium is important. e constant
supply of nutrients as well as gases suchas CO and O is also monitored. Oxygenis the most important gaseous substrate
in aerobic fermentation, while carbondioxide is the most important gaseous
by-product of the process.
Enzyme manufacturing
e production of yeast and alcohols isa large part of the fermentation industry.Besides this, it also produces antibiotics,enzymes, and amino acids.
 A growing eld of fermentation isenzyme manufacturing. Most of the
enzymes produced globally are used indetergents. In the future, more enzymes
will be needed for example in thebaking industry, which uses enzymesin bread manufacturing. Enzymes are
also produced for food and animal feed
as well as the pulp and paper industry.
Enzyme manufacturers have to maintain
constant research activities, so that new 
Vaisala News
 172 / 2006

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