Tempeh biochemistry

In addition to producing the mycelia mass that literally holds the soy beans together, R. oligosporus is also responsible for causing major biochemical changes in the composition of the soy bean substrate (Table 12-8). In particular, lipids and proteins serve as substrates for fungi-excreted lipases and proteinases, respectively. During the incubation period, about a third of the lipid and a fourth of the protein fractions are degraded. Lipid hydrolysis results mainly in mono- and diglycerides, free fatty acids, and only a small amount of free glycerol.

Table 12.7. Properties of Rhizopus microsporus var. oligosporus.

Unable to metabolize major soy carbohydrates

(sucrose, stachyose, or raffinose) Aerobic

Rapid growth and mycelia production at 30-42°C Proteolytic and lipolytic

Uses free fatty acids, derived from lipids, as an energy source

Table 12.8. Composition of soybeans and tempeh1.




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