Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 112:6 (December 2011), pp. 590–594; doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2011.08.009
Natural pigments are an important alternative to potentially harmful synthetic dyes. We investigated the feasibility of corn cob powder as a substrate for production of pigments by Monascus purpureus KACC 42430 in solid-state fermentation. A pigment yield of 25.42 OD Units/gram of dry fermented substrate was achieved with corn cob powder and optimized process parameters, including 60% (w/w) initial moisture content, incubation at 30°C, inoculation with 4 mL of spores/gram of dry substrate, and an incubation period of 7 days. Pigment yield using corn cobs greatly exceeded those of most other agricultural waste substrates. The pigments were stable at acidic pH, high temperatures, and in salt solutions; all important considerations for industrial applications. Our results indicate the viability of corn cob substrate in combination with M. purpureus for industrial applications.