Journal Article

Bioconversions of maize residues to value-added coproducts using yeast-like fungi

Timothy D Leathers

in FEMS Yeast Research

Volume 3, issue 2, pages 133-140
Published in print April 2003 |
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1567-1364 | DOI:

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Agricultural residues are abundant potential feedstocks for bioconversions to industrial fuels and chemicals. Every bushel of maize (approximately 25 kg) processed for sweeteners, oil, or ethanol generates nearly 7 kg of protein- and fiber-rich residues. Currently these materials are sold for very low returns as animal feed ingredients. Yeast-like fungi are promising biocatalysts for conversions of agricultural residues. Although corn fiber (pericarp) arabinoxylan is resistant to digestion by commercially available enzymes, a crude mixture of enzymes from the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium partially saccharifies corn fiber without chemical pretreatment. Sugars derived from corn fiber can be converted to ethanol or other valuable products using a variety of naturally occurring or recombinant yeasts. Examples are presented of Pichia guilliermondii strains for the conversion of corn fiber hydrolysates to the alternative sweetener xylitol. Corn-based fuel ethanol production also generates enormous volumes of low-value stillage residues. These nutritionally rich materials are prospective substrates for numerous yeast fermentations. Strains of Aureobasidium and the red yeast Phaffia rhodozyma utilize stillage residues for production of the polysaccharide pullulan and the carotenoid astaxanthin, respectively.

Keywords: Astaxanthin; Aureobasidium; Corn fiber; Phaffia rhodozyma; Pullulan; Xylitol

Journal Article.  4142 words.  Illustrated.

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