Production of d-lactic acid from rice bran, one of the most abundant agricultural by-products in Japan, is studied. Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii IFO 3202 and defatted rice bran powder after squeezing rice oil were used for the production. Since the rice bran contains polysaccharides as starch and cellulose, we coupled saccharification with amylase and cellulase to lactic acid fermentation. The indigenous bacteria in the rice bran produced racemic lactic acid in the saccharification at pH 6.0-6.8. Thus the pH was controlled at 5.0 to suppress the growth of the indigenous bacteria. L. delbrueckii IFO 3202 produced 28 kg m-3 lactic acid from 100 kg m-3 rice bran after 36 h at 37°C. The yield based on the amount of sugars soluble after 36-h hydrolysis of the bran by amylase and cellulase (36 kg m-3 from 100 kg m-3 of the bran) was 78%. The optical purity of produced d-lactic acid was 95% e.e.
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