Production and Characterization of a Milk-clotting Protease Produced in Submerged Fermentation by the Thermophilic Fungus Thermomucor indicae-seudaticae N31
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Proteases are some of the most important industrial enzymes, and one of their main applications is for the production of cheese in the dairy industry. Due to a shortage of animal rennet, microbial coagulant proteases are being sought. In this work, the production of microbial rennet from Thermomucor indicae-seudaticae N31 was studied in submerged fermentation. The best enzyme production was obtained in a fermentation medium containing 4 % wheat bran as the substrate in 0.3 % saline solution, incubated for 72 h at 45 degrees C and 150 rpm. The value of the milk clotting activity (MCA) was 60.5 U/mL, and the ratio to proteolytic activity (MCA/PA) was 510. The crude enzyme showed optimum pH at 5.5 and two peaks of optimum temperature (MCA at 65 degrees C and PA at 60 degrees C). The MCA was stable in the pH range 4.0-4.5 for 24 h and up to 55 degrees C for 1 h. It was stable during storage at different temperatures (-20 to 25 degrees C) for 10 weeks. Based on these results, we conclude that microbial rennet from T. indicae-seudaticae N31 produced by submerged fermentation showed good prospects of replacing traditional rennet.
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