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Alkaline Protease Production from Brevibacterium luteolum (MTCC 5982) Under Solid-State Fermentation and Its Application for Sulfide-Free Unhairing of Cowhides

Renganath Rao, R., Vimudha, M., Kamini, N. R., Gowthaman, M. K., Chandrasekran, B., Saravanan, P.
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2017 v.182 no.2 pp. 511-528
Brevibacterium, agricultural wastes, bran, cost effectiveness, dehairing, enzyme activity, feasibility studies, inoculum, pH, pollution, process control, production costs, proteinases, solid state fermentation, sulfides
Enzyme-based unhairing in replacement of conventional lime sulfide system has been attempted as an alternative for tackling pollution. The exorbitant cost of enzyme and the need for stringent process control need to be addressed yet. This study developed a mechanism for regulated release of protease from cheaper agro-wastes, which overcomes the necessity for stringent process control along with total cost reduction. The maximum protease activity of 1193.77 U/g was obtained after 96 h of incubation with 15% inoculum of the actinomycete strain Brevibacterium luteolum (MTCC 5982) under solid-state fermentation (SSF). The medium after SSF was used for unhairing without the downstream processing to avoid the cost involved in enzyme extraction. This also helped in the regulated release of enzyme from bran to the process liquor for controlled unhairing and avoided the problem of grain-pitting. Unhairing process parameters were standardized as 20% enzyme offer, 40% Hide-Float ratio at 5 ± 1 rpm, and process pH of 9.0. The cost of production of 1000 kU of the protease was calculated as 0.44 USD. The techno-economic feasibility studies for setting up an SSF enzyme production plant showed a high return on investment of 15.58% with a payback period of 6.4 years.