Abstract: To increase the titer of astaxanthin and the astaxanthin-to-carotenoid ratio in Phaffia rhodozyma fermentation, the types of bulk carbon sources and their combinations were investigated . The ratio of glucose to maltodextrin was determined in a 70 L fermenter, and the optimized process was scaled up in a 10 m3 fermenter. The results showed that molasses, glucose, maltodextrin and maltose syrup were favorable for the growth of P. rhodozyma, maltodextrin, maltose syrup, starch hydrolysate and sucrose were beneficial to the synthesis of carotenoids, while maltodextrin, starch hydrolysate and maltose syrup facilitated the production of astaxanthin. Maltodextrin combined with molasses or glucose resulted in the highest astaxanthin titers of (58.7±1.2) and (55.1±0.8) μg/mL, respectively. The optimal ratio of glucose to maltodextrin of 1∶1 in a 70 L fermenter yielded an astaxanthin titer of (341.0±7.2) μg/mL, which is 4.08 mg/g dry cell weight. When scaled up in a 10 m3 fermenter, the titer and the astaxanthin-to-carotenoid ratio were (360.3±0.8) μg/mL and 42.2%, respectively, while the astaxanthin content toward dry cell weight was 3.88 mg/g, which was slightly lower than that of lab scale fermentation. In summary, the types of carbon sources and their compositions were optimized for astaxanthin production, the results provided important reference for commercial production of astaxanthin.
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