Operating bioreactors for microbial exopolysaccharide production

Robert J. Seviour, Brian McNeil, Mariana L. Fazenda, Linda M. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


There is considerable interest in exploiting the novel physical and biological properties of microbial exopolysaccharides in industry and medicine. For economic and scientific reasons, large scale production under carefully monitored and controlled conditions is required. Producing exopolysaccharides in industrial fermenters poses several complex bioengineering and microbiological challenges relating primarily to the very high viscosities of such culture media, which are often exacerbated by the producing organism's morphology. What these problems are, and the strategies for dealing with them are discussed critically in this review, using pullulan, curdlan, xanthan, and fungal beta-glucans as examples of industrially produced microbial exopolysaccharides. The role of fermenter configuration in their production is also examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-185
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • fungi
  • EPS
  • fermenters
  • xanthan
  • scale up
  • rheology
  • fungus
  • response-surface methodology
  • aspergillus-niger B1-D
  • xanthan gum production
  • stirred-tank reactor
  • xanthomonas-campestris
  • ganoderma-lucidum
  • submerged culture
  • sclerotium-glucanicum
  • airlift reactor


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