V

Ethanol

Aceto lactate

Acetoin F, 2H

2,3- Butanediol

d Ethanol h

Acetate

Propionate

Acetone

/so-Propanol

Butyryl CoA-4H

Butano!

Fig. 1.1. Bacterial fermentation products of pyruvate. Pyruvate formed by the catabolism of glucose is further metabolized by pathways which are characteristic of particular organisms and which serve as a biochemical aid to identification. End products of fermentations are italicized (Dawes and Large, 1982).

A Lactic acid bacteria (.Streptococcus, Lactobacillus) F Klebsiella

B Clostridium propionicum G Yeast

C Yeast, Acetobacter, Zymomonas, Sarcina ventriculi, Erwinia amylovora H Clostridia (butyric, butylic organisms)

E Clostridia I Propionic acid bacteria produced on a large scale since the early 1900s and yeast was produced as human food in Germany during the First World War. However, it was not until the 1960s that the production of microbial biomass as a source of food protein was explored to any great depth. As a result of this work, reviewed briefly in Chapter 2, a few large-scale continuous processes for animal feed production were established in the 1970s. These processes were based on hydrocarbon feedstocks which could not compete against other high protein animal feeds, resulting in their closure in the late 1980s (Sharp, 1989). However, the demise of the animal feed biomass fermentations was balanced by ICI pic and Rank Hovis McDougal establishing a process for the production of fungal biomass for human food. This process was based on a more stable economic platform and appears to have a promising future.

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