Thermostable Phytase Production by Thermoascus aurantiacus in Submerged Fermentation

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Phytases act on phytic acid, an antinutrient factor present in animal feeds, and release inorganic phosphate. We optimized the production parameters for phytase production using Thermoascus aurantiacus (TUB F 43), a thermophilic fungal culture, by submerged fermentation. A semisynthetic medium containing glucose, starch, peptone, and minerals supplemented with 3.75% (w/v) wheat bran particles was found to be the best production medium among the various combinations tried. Further supplementation of this medium with surfactants such as Tween-20 and Tween-80 considerably enhanced the enzyme yield. A maximum phytase activity (468.22 U/mL) was obtained using this production medium containing 2% (v/v) Tween-20 after 72 h of fermentation at 45°C in shake-flask cultures with a rotation of 150 rpm. Herein we present details of a few of the process parameter optimizations. The phytase enzyme was found to be thermostable, and the optimal temperature for phytase activity was found to be 55°C. However, 80% of the activity still remained when the temperature was shifted to 70°C.

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