Production and rheological characteristics of the microbial polysaccharide gellan

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Sphingomonas paucimobilis was used for the synthesis of the microbial polysaccharide gellan. In a 60 h fermentation, polysaccharide yield and productivity obtained were 0.45 g gellan per g glucose consumed and 0.21 g l-1 h-1 respectively. The broth showed pseudoplastic behaviour with yield stress. The requirement of the solvent propanol to precipitate gellan from the broth depended on the volume of the broth rather than on gellan concentration. The addition of salt to the broth reduced the propanol requirement. Attempts to separate cells from the highly viscous broth by microfiltration were not successful. Ultrafiltration reduced the propanol requirement but appreciable membrane fouling and loss of gellan was observed.

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