Medium Formulation

Medium formulation is an essential stage in the design of successful laboratory experiments, pilot-scale development and manufacturing processes. The constituents of a medium must satisfy the elemental requirements for cell biomass and metabolite production and there must be an adequate supply of energy for biosynthesis and cell maintenance. The first step to consider is an equation based on the stoichiometry for growth and product formation. Thus for an aerobic fermentation:

carbon + nitrogen + Oz + other -> and source require-

energy ments source biomass + products + COz + HzO + heat

This equation should be expressed in quantitative terms, which is important in the economical design of media if component wastage is to be minimal. Thus, it should be possible to calculate the minimal quantities of nutrients which will be needed to produce a specific amount of biomass. Knowing that a certain amount of biomass is necessary to produce a defined amount of product, it should be possible to calculate substrate concentrations necessary to produce required product yields. There may be medium components which are needed for product formation which are not required for biomass production. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to quantify all the factors very precisely.

A knowledge of the elemental composition of a process micro-organism is required for the solution of the elemental balance equation. This information may not be available so that data which is given in Table 4.2 will serve as a guide to the absolute minimum quantities of N, S, P, Mg and K to include in an initial medium recipe. Trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, Mo, B) may also be needed in smaller quantities. An analysis of relative concentrations of individual elements in bacterial cells and commonly used cultivation

Table 4.1. Some examples of fermentation media

liaeonic acid (Nubel and Ratajak, 1962)

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