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• Industrial production of amino acids have started with availability of

monosodium glutamate (MSG) in 1909

• Discovered by Dr. Kikunae Ikeda in 1908

• Originally manufactured by extraction from acid hydrolysis of plant protein

• In late 1950 fermentation technology was established and commercially

exploited for other amino acids

• L-Glutamine fermentation started in late 1960

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
Consumption and production

• Worldwide consumption of amino acids is about 2 million tonnes

• About 1.5 million tonnes was sold in 2001

• 4% annual growth in sale is observed

• The annual demand of amino acids in food and pharmaceutical industry is

4,60,000 tonnes

• The annual worldwide production of L-glutamine is 3,70,000 tonnes

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555. 2

MSG is used commercially as a flavour enhancer.
Although once stereotypically associated with foods in Chinese
restaurants; it is now found in many common food items, particularly
processed foods
Examples include:
 Canned soups
 Pre-prepared stocks
 Common snack foods
 Most fast foods
 Instant meals such as the seasoning mixtures for instant noodles

Table 1 - Major uses of glutamic acid and its derivatives in research
PROTEIN ENGINEERING Peptide synthesis Protein modification Polymer supports

BIOCHEMICAL/CELL BIOLOGY Biochemical experiments Cell biology research

ANALYTICAL APPLICATIONS Analytical standards Diagnostic products and procedures

Table 2 - Analytical uses of glutamic acid and its derivatives

Gas Pure glutamic acid Research, medical,
chromatography or derivatives food processing
Affinity Glutamic acids bonded to Separating complex
chromatography polymer and other types proteins/high
molecular weight
Radioisotope Radiolabelled Medical,
tracers liquid or solid pharmaceutical

Table 3 - Medical and pharmaceutical applications

TREATING DISEASE Parenteral nutrition, Prescription dietary

supplements, Congenital metabolic diseases,
Hypertension, Neuroregulators, Ophthalmic solutions
DIAGNOSING DISEASE Congenital metabolic diseases, Disorders or
malfunction of brain/nervous system

Therapeutic applications of glutamic acid
 Crystalline glutamic acid in solution: It is the source of protein precursors for
hospitalized patients unable to eat or eat enough to get or stay healthy.


Crystalline glutamic acid in solution: Given to the patient through circulatory system via
a vein


Tablet, capsule or powder protein precursors: For people able to eat but who need very
highly concentrated source to recover from illness or surgery


Powder Prescription diets: For newborn babies and others who need a diet devoid of
or with highly reduced content of specific amino acid

 HYPERTENSION (Capsules or injection)

Prescription drugs that reduce blood pressure

 NEURO-REGULATORS (Capsules or injection) 5




●Glutamic acid is a dicarboxylic monoamino acid

●Non-essential or dispensible amino acid
General manufacturing process
 The manufacturing methods of amino acids are-
 Extraction from acid hyrolysates
 Chemical synthesis
 Fermentation
 Enzymatic
 Leucine, proline, tyrosine, cystine are manufactured by extraction, fermentation
and chemical synthesis
 L-Glutamic acid is manufactured world wide using fermentation

 The manufacturing process of an amino acid by fermentation comprises

fermentation, crude isolation and purification processes.
 In the crude isolation process, most impurities contained in the fermentation
broth are removed by combining various technologies

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
 Final purification is performed to ensure the required quality for the
intended use

 The final product is obtained as a crystalline powder

 The product is released only after quality tests have verified that the product
meets specific requirements, and the normal functioning of each process
step has been verified

 All manufacturing processes for the production of amino acids for medical
use must comply with current good manufacturing practice requirements

Manufacturing of L-Gln
 It is essential to the outcome of the fermentation process to maintain a clean
and sterile fermentation tank
 Compared with wild-type strains, L-Gln-producing strains are weak and are
compromised in a contaminated environment
 Furthermore, it is important to maintain the tank under positive pressure by
aeration during fermentation to prevent contamination by other
microorganisms and external materials
 The fermentation medium consists of glucose as a carbon source, ammonia
as a nitrogen source, a small amount of minerals and vitamins as growth
 Control factors during fermentation are pH, temperature and dissolved

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
Schematic representation of glutamic acid production
Strains producing glutamic acid

 Most exploited is Corynebacterium glutamicum

 Other genera of Corynebacterium is also used

 Brevibacterium sp., Microbacterium sp., Arthrobacter sp. are

also used

 All glutamic acid producers require biotin for their activity

 All the strains show little activity of α-ketoglutarate


 Increased activity of glutamate dehydrogenase

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
Biosynthesis of glutamic acid

Glutamic Acid

Conditions of manufacture
 Carbon sources: glucose, sucrose, maltose, xylose, sugarcane and
sugarbeet, molasses, strach, hydrolysates
 Nitrogen sources: ammonium salts, ammonia, urea

 Growth factors: biotin, L-cystiene

 Oxygen supply:

 Optimal production occurs at Kd of 0.0000035 moles of O2/
 Lower oxygen content causes excretion of lactate

 Higher oxygen content inhibits α-ketoglutarate production

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.

Culture medium

Seed culture Main culture

• Glucose – 40 g • Glucose – 40g

• K2HPO4 – 1 g • K2HPO4 – 1g
• MgSO4 – 0.5 g • MgSO4 – 0.5g
• Urea – 8 g • K2SO4 – 1.2g
• Tap water – 1 litre • FeSO4 – 6ppm
• Incubation for 16 h at 350C • MnSO4 - 6ppm
• CH3COONH4– 5g
• Antifoam agent – Hodag K-
67 (0.1ml)
• Tap water – 1 litre
• Innoculum volume – 6%
Conditions during fermentation
• pH is set at 8.5 and automatically maintained at 7.8 during the
course of fermentation

• Temperature is set at 380C during the fermentation process

• Feeding of glucose is done until the end of fermentation (160


• Aeration is controlled such that CO2 in exhaust is not more

than 4.5%

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.

Overview of fermentation

Fermented broth


Collect supernatant

Concentration Ion exchange treatment

Direct Crystallization Resin preparation

Column packing

Separation of fluid
(acidified to pH 3.2, with 1 N HCl. Storage at 20°C for 48 h)


Downstream Processing
K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al; Revista de
microbiologta.1999; 30. 17
Preparation of resin
 Spherical particles of cation exchange resin, Amberlite is used

 The resin is washed thoroughly two times with 4 N HCI

 After two washes with distilled water, the resin is then washed with
2 N NaOH until the filtrate was alkaline

 The resulting material (sodium salt of the resin) is suspended in 3-times

its volume of 1 N NaOH and heated over a steam bath for 2 h with
occasional mixing

 The supernatant fluid was decanted after 30 minutes of settling and

replaced with fresh hot 1 N NaOH

 The procedure was repeated two times. The resin was filtered and
washed with distilled water to make it free of alkali

 The resin was finally stored as the moist sodium salt

Flow diagram of the isolation process.

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
Effect of temperature on solubility of glutamate

• The solubility of L-Gln is barely affected by temperature as shown by the flat

solubility curve.
• Consequently, cooling crystallization is not applicable for harvesting L-Gln.

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
 Purification of amino acids by crystallization is an effective means to produce
polymorphism, two crystal forms can be used

 After crystallization of amino acid in the one form, the crystals are dissolved, and
then recrystallized in the other form

 In this manner, it is possible to remove impurities based on their different

affinities for the two crystal forms

 Unfortunately, L-Gln occurs only as one crystal form

 Therefore, to use crystallization for purification, there is no way other than the
inefficient simple repetitive crystallization of the one crystal form of

 By changing the pH to the isoelectric point (3.2) and by the subsequent cooling
of the eluent, glutamic acid was crystallized out.
Simplified production flow chart of the L-Gln manufacturing

Kusumoto I., Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131:2552-2555.
On-line optimization
 Higher glutamate concentration could be achieved by constantly
controlling dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) at a lower level; however,
by-product lactate also severely accumulated

 Activities of glutamate and lactate dehydrogenases changed during the

the fermentation

 The entire metabolic network flux analysis showed that the lactate
overproduction was because the metabolic flux in TCA cycle was too low
to balance the glucose glycolysis rate

 As a result, the respiratory quotient (RQ) adaptive control based

“balanced metabolic control” (BMC) strategy was proposed and used to
regulate the TCA metabolic flux rate at an appropriate level to achieve the
metabolic balance among glycolysis, glutamate synthesis, and TCA
metabolic flux
Xiao J et al; Bioprocess Biosystem Engineering. 2006; 29(2);109–117.
Analytical methods

 The concentrations of cells, glucose, glutamate, and lactate are measured during
the course of fermentation

 The CO2 and O2 concentrations (partial pressure) in the inlet and exhaust gas were
on-line measured by a gas analyzer

 The collected on-line data were smoothly filtered, and then oxygen uptake rate
(OUR) and CO2 evolution rate (CER) were on-line calculated

 Respiratory quotient (RQ) was determined by its definition (RQ = CER/OUR) using
the on-line measured OUR and CER data.

Xiao J et al; Bioprocess Biosystem Engineering. 2006;29(2):109–117. 24

On-line control system

Based on the RQ set-points and the measured RQ, the PC on-line regulated
the agitation rate of the fermentor (AGT) with the equation below

• k represented the current control instant

• RQset was the RQ set-point which might be subject to changes during the
• KC and τI were proportional and integral constants of the feedback
controller, respectively
• KC and τI were determined by observing the RQ response to a step change
in the input (agitation rate) during a certain period of the glutamate
production phase.
Xiao J et al; Bioprocess Biosystem Engineering. 2006;29(2):109–117.
Observations after setting a particular DO level
• Glutamate and lactate formation pattern strongly depended on the DO control

• A higher glutamate production rate could be achieved when the DO was controlled
at a lower level of 10% and the final glutamate concentration reached about
91.5 g/L at 34 h

• Final glutamate concentration stopped at a lower level of 72.7 g/L (30 h) when
controlling DO at 50%

• On the other hand, lactate severely accumulated up to 28 g/L when DO was

controlled at a lower level of 10%

• Almost no lactate accumulation occurred when controlling DO at 50%

Xiao J et al; Bioprocess Biosystem Engineering. 2006;29(2):109–117. 26
•These results suggested that the enzymatic activities of GDH and LDH under lower and higher
DO level might be quite different

•Generally, it is considered that the anaerobic condition is extremely harmful to glutamate


•To verify the above speculation, an experiment under extremely low DO level was conducted.
In the fermentation, DO was initially controlled at 30%, and the agitation rate was manually
reduced to bring DO down to 0% instantly at 12 h

•Then, the same agitation rate was kept for the next 6 h.

•During this period, the fermentation could be considered as implemented under anaerobic
condition, glutamate production stopped and lactate overflowed

•At 18 hr, the automatic control of DO was resumed to quickly bring DO back to 30%, a partial
recovery of glutamate production was observed

•However, the final glutamate concentration ended at a very low level of about 45 g/L

•The results indicated that the occurrence of anaerobic condition even for a short period
would be both fatal and irretrievable to glutamate fermentation
Effect of different DO levels on glucose consumptions during aerobic

Open triangle: DO = 50%

Open circle: DO = 10%

Xiao J et al; Bioprocess Biosystem Engineering. 2006;29(2):109–117. 28

Balanced metabolic control

● In glutamate fermentation glycolysis rate should balance with

glutamate synthesis, lactate formation and TCA metabolic
● Severe lactate accumulation at lower DO control (DO = 10%)
was due to the carbon metabolic balance rather than the
higher LDH activity by the following facts-
1) The changing patterns of glycolysis rate (r1) at different DO levels were
almost the same

2) No significant differences in LDH activities were shown under different DO level

3) The metabolic flux of TCA significantly decreased with the decrease in DO

control level

● Under the lower DO level, even though GDH activity was higher, the
higher glutamate synthesis rate (r6) still could not completely balance
with the glycolysis rate (r1), as TCA cycle was almost closed completely
and the TCA metabolic flux (r4) was very low

● Under this circumstance, lactate had to be overflowed or excreted (r5)

into the broth to achieve the entire intracellular carbon balance

● On the other hand, under the higher DO level, GDH activity was
relatively low, but the TCA cycle was nearly open for a complete
● Under this condition, lactate was not necessarily overflowed, as the
glutamate synthesis rate (r6) plus the higher TCA metabolic flux (r4)
were big enough to balance with the glycolysis rate (r1), even though
LDH exhibited almost equivalent activity as compared with that of the
lower DO case

Effect of DO Levels on various parameters

Glutamate concentration: (filled circle) DO 10%, (filled triangle) DO 50%; lactate concentration:
(open circle) DO 10%, (open triangle) DO 50%. b GDH activity: (filled circle) DO 10%, (open circle)
DO 50%; LDH activity: (filled triangle) DO 10%, (open triangle) DO 50%. c Cells concentration:
(filled circle) DO 10%, (filled triangle) DO 50%. d Glucose concentration: (filled circle) DO 10%,
(filled triangle) DO 50%

Xiao J et al; Bioprocess Biosystem Engineering. 2006;29(2):109–117. 31

Fermentation and recovery of L-glutamic acid
from cassava starch hydrolysate

• Carried by K. Nampoothiri and Ashok Pandey, Biotechnology Division,

Regional Research Laboratory, CSIR, Trivandrum

• Brevibacterium sp. was used

• Initial studies were carried out in shake flasks, which showed that even
though the yield was high with 85-90 DE (Dextrose Equivalent value), the
maximum conversion yield (~34%) was obtained by using only partially
digested starch hydrolysate, i.e. 45-50 DE

K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al;Revista de microbiologia. 1999;30 33

Batch process for Casava starch hydrolysate

●Cassava starch hydrolysate (85-90 DE) was diluted to 5% initial sugar concentration
and was supplemented with 1 ml mineral solution, 100 µl corn steep liquor and one
drop of Tween 80 in 100 ml starch hydrolysate (pH 7.2)

●Fermentation was carried out with a working volume of 2.5 L in a 5 L fermenter

●Dissolved oxygen was maintained at 60% of air saturated medium

K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al; Revista de microbiologia.1999;30. 34

Fed-batch process for Casava starch hydrolysate

● Fed-batch process was also carried out in the fermenter

● The initial concentration of reducing sugars in the medium was 5%, and at the
stages, where the concentration fell to 2%, starch hydrolyzate solution containing
10% reducing sugars, was added to bring the sugar concentration of fermenting
medium as 5%

● Fermentation conditions were the same as for batch process

K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al; Revista de microbiologia.1999;30 Contd….. 35

●Fermentations were carried out in batch mode in a 5 L fermenter, using
suitably diluted cassava starch hydrolysate, using a 85-90 DE value hydrolysate

●Media supplemented with nutrients resulted in an accumulation of 21 g/L

glutamic acid with a fairly high (66.3%) conversation yield of glucose to
glutamic acid (based on glucose consumed and on 81.74% theoretical
conversion rate)

●The bioreactor conditions most conducive for maximum production were pH

7.5, temperature 30°C and an agitation of 180 rpm

●When fermentation was conducted in fed-batch mode by keeping the residual

reducing sugar concentration at 5% w/v, 25.0 g/L of glutamate was obtained
after 40 h fermentation (16% more the batch mode)

K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al; Revista de microbiologia. 1999;30.
Growth and glutamic acid production based on the
hydrolysate having different DE values

Consumption of reducing sugars by Brevibacterium sp. at
different DE values

Yields of L-glutamic acid at different DE value

Percentage conversion at different DE values

A= 15-20% DE
B= 30-35% DE
C= 45-50% DE
D= 60-65% DE
E= 85-90% DE

With 85-90 DE hydrolysate, the conversion was lowest (~27%). Thus, if conversion
factor has to be considered as a major criterion, a low DE value hydrolysate, i.e. 45-50
DE would be sufficient for L-glutamic acid production.

K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al; Revista de microbiologia. 1999;30. 40

Comparison of bacterial growth and L-glutamic acid production
in batch and fed-batch process

Recovery of glutamic acid

● The fermented broth contained various impurities such as bacterial cells,

macromolecules, pigments, inorganic substances, organic substances etc., which
were removed by filtration and centrifugation

● Glutamic acid was purified from cation exchange resin

K. Madhavan Nampoothiri et al; Revista de microbiologia.1999;30.

Glutamic acid recovered at different elution volumes
through ion-exchange resin column

Raj Enterprises
Manufacturing and supplying food ingredients such as xanthan gum, sodium gluconate, silicon di-
oxide, potassium sorbate, monosodium glutamate, ascorbic acid use as a chemical preservatives for
sauces and homemade products.

Street Address: 236/238, 4th Floor, Samuel Street
City: Mumbai State: Maharashtra PIN: 400 003 Country: India
Phone: +(91)-(22)-23402742 Fax: +(91)-(22)-66315361

Eurofine Chemicals
Manufacturers and exporters of zinc stearate, zinc cyanide, sodium acetate, mono sodium
glutamate, magnesium turnings etc.

Street Address: 212, Maker Bhavan No. 3, 21, New Marine Lines
City: Mumbai State: Maharashtra PIN: 400 009 Country: India
Phone: +(91)-(22)-23455101/23475416/22074206 Fax: +(91)-(22)-23475049

P.D. Udyog
Manufacturer of citric acid, dried yeast and mono-sodium-glutamate.
Street Address: No. 7, 1st Floor, G. S. Market, Patnoolpet O. T. Pet Cross
City: Bangalore State: Karnataka PIN: 560 053 Country: India
Phone: +(91)-(80)-23381195

Dudley & Brother Private Limited, Kolkata

Sellers of various types of mono sodium glutamate.
Street Address: 13, Ganesh Chandra Avenue
City: Kolkata State: West Bengal PIN: 700 013 Country: India
Phone: +(91)-(33)-22368899/22367322 Fax: +(91)-(33)-22252714

R. M. Chemicals
Suppliers of all kinds of mono sodium glutamate, citric acid, ascorbic acid etc.
Street Address: 47, Nattu Pilliar, Koil Street
City: Chennai State: Tamil Nadu PIN: 600 001 Country: India
Phone: +(91)-(44)-25221743
Thank You !!!