Value-added production of nisin from soy whey

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2010 Nov;162(7):1819-33. doi: 10.1007/s12010-010-8951-y. Epub 2010 Sep 18.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of low/negative value soy whey (SW) as an alternative, inexpensive fermentation substrate to culture Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis for nisin production. Initially, a microtiter plate assay using a Bioscreen C Microbiology Plate Reader was used for rapid optimization of culture conditions. Various treatments were examined in efforts to optimize nisin production from SW, including different methods for SW sterilization, ultrasonication of soy flake slurries for possible nutrient release, comparison of diluted and undiluted SW, and supplementation of SW with nutrients. In subsequent flask-based experiments, dry bacterial mass and nisin yields obtained from SW were 2.18 g/L and 619 mg/L, respectively, as compared to 2.17 g/L and 672 mg/L from a complex medium, de Man-Rogosa-Sharpe broth. Ultrasonication of soybean flake slurries (10% solid content) in water prior to production of SW resulted in ∼2% increase in biomass yields and ∼1% decrease in nisin yields. Nutrient supplementation to SW resulted in ∼3% and ∼7% increase in cell and nisin yields, respectively. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the potential for use of a low/negative value liquid waste stream from soybean processing for production of a high-value fermentation end product.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Fermentation
  • Industrial Waste / analysis
  • Lactococcus lactis / growth & development
  • Lactococcus lactis / metabolism*
  • Nisin / biosynthesis*
  • Soybeans / chemistry
  • Soybeans / microbiology*


  • Culture Media
  • Industrial Waste
  • Nisin