University of Vigo

Valorization of whey and vinasses by producing antimicrobial extracts using biotechnological processes

Posted by University of VigoResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

This invention is based on the production of antimicrobial extracts with potential application against pathogenic microorganisms. The biotechnological production of antimicrobial metabolites was carried out using Lactobacillus plantarum strains. Two industrial wastes, whey, and wine distilled lees (or vinasses) were assayed in order to make the process economically competitive with regard to the chemical one. The extracts are mainly composed by lactic acid, 3-phenyllactic and bacteriocins. Whey was enzymatically hydrolyzed and the solutions were fermented sequentially or simultaneously. The bioprocesses were carried out continuously or discontinuously

New and innovative aspects

The innovative aspect of this invention is the formulation of economic culture media from agroindustrial wastes (whey and lees) for the production of antimicrobial extracts by Lactobacillus plantarum strains. Whey and lees are two environmentally harmful wastes. In this process, whey was used as a carbon source and to generate solutions of phenylalanine by enzymatic hydrolysis, meanwhile lees were used as a source of nitrogen. It is also outstanding the application of these extracts (containing lactic acid, phenyllactic acid and bacteriocins) as antimicrobial agents against the growth of some of the major pathogenic strains transmitted along the food chain was also claimed.

Main advantages of its use

Minimization and revalorization of contaminant wastes from food industries. Formulation of economic culture media to make the process competitive with regard to the chemical one. Use of natural antimicrobial extracts to preservase foods from pathogenic bacteria.


Optimization of the enzymatic hydrolysis to release phenylalanine from whey: eznymes and conditions.

Technology of fermentation: sequentally to hydrolysis or simultaneously. The bioprocesses were carried out continuously or discontinuously.

Application of extracts against pathogenic bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa CECT-116, B) Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica CECT-724, C) Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus CECT-239 and D) Listeria monocytogenes CECT-934.


  • Food industries that generates wastes and food industries for the conservation and preservation of foods.

Related keywords

  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Microbiology Technology
  • Biobased high-performance materials
  • Bioprocesses
  • Fermentation
  • Animal Production / Husbandry
  • Food Additives/Ingredients/Functional Food
  • Food Processing
  • Waste Management
  • Microbiology Market
  • Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation
  • Food and feed ingredients
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • Dairy Products
  • Whey
  • antimicrobial extracts
  • vinification lees
  • lactobacillus plantarum
  • pathogenic bacteria

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