Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.44, No.10, 1168-1176, 1994
Online Estimation of Biological Variables During pH Controlled Lactic-Acid Fermentations
Indirect measurements of lactose, galactose, lactic acid, and biomass concentration from on-line sodium hydroxide weight measurements have been obtained for pure and mixed batch cultures of Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus 404 and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus 398 conducted at controlled pH and temperature. Linear correlations were established between the equivalent sodium hydroxide concentration and the lactose (substrate), galactose and lactic acid (products) concentrations while nonlinear relationships were developed between biomass and lactic acid concentrations. These nonlinear relationships took into account the inhibitory effect of lactic acid on growth and acidification. The indirect measurements of biomass concentration were introduced into a nonlinear estimator of the state variables and of the specific growth and lactic acid production rates. Good agreement was found between estimated and measured biomass concentrations (error index ranging from 10.8% to 12.6%). The results showed the feasibility of on-line estimation of biomass concentration and of the specific kinetics from NaOH addition weight measurements and its applicability for monitoring lactic acid fermentations. Using off-line measurements of L(+) and D(-) lactic acid concentrations, the evolution of the concentration of each strain in mixed cultures was obtained from the relationships proposed for the mixed cultures.