Alonso-Vargas, M.; Téllez-Jurado, A.; Gómez-Aldapa, C.A.; Ramírez-Vargas, M.d.R.; Conde-Báez, L.; Castro-Rosas, J.; Cadena-Ramírez, A. Optimization of 2-Phenylethanol Production from Sweet Whey Fermentation Using Kluyveromyces marxianus. Fermentation 2022, 8, 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8020039
The growing demand for natural products benefits the development of bioprocesses to obtain value-added compounds using residues such as sweet whey, which is rich in lactose. The yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus can ferment sweet whey to obtain 2-phenylethanol (2-PhEtOH), which is a superior alcohol with a rose aroma. Such fermentation only requires the addition of L-phenylalanine (precursor) and (NH4)2SO4 (salt). Therefore, it was sought to improve the fermentation conditions to produce 2-PhEtOH, which, in turn, would achieve the maximum decrease in the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of the fermentation medium. With the use of the Response Surface Methodology and the application of a Central Composite Design for optimization, two parameters were evaluated as a function of time: salt concentration and precursor. The experimental data were adjusted to a second order polynomial, identifying that the precursor concentration presents a statistically significant effect. The best conditions were: 4.50 g/L of precursor and 0.76 g/L of salt, with a maximum production of 1.2 g/L (2-PhEtOH) at 48 h and achieving a maximum percentage of COD removal of 76% at 96 h. Finally, the optimal conditions were experimentally validated, recommending the use of the model.