Method for producing Beta-Carotene on a Large Scale for use in the Medical, Food and Cosmetics Industry

Carotenoids are antioxidant micronutrients reported to protect against the adverse activity of free redicals. Among the carotenoids, Beta-carotene is the most recognized and widely known carotenoid. Flavobacterium multivorum ATCC 55238 is best known for zeaxanthin production, but it was culturally manipulated under the influence of salts such as urea and sodium carbonate to produce a high amount of Beta-carotene. The amount of Beta-carotene accumulated was the highest ever reported from bacteria. A bacterial source of Beta-carotene will have obvious advantages of faster growth rate and ease in downstream processing of the product as compared to other microbial sources such as algae and fungi.

There are very few bacterial sources for the production of Beta-carotene and most of them product it as a minor product. The production of Beta-carotene from other microbial sources like algae and fungi require rigorous maintenance of process conditions like salt concentration, intense light or energy input to keep the viscosity down in the fermenters. Bacteria have an obvious advantage of faster growth rate over algae and fungus. In the past decade, several clinical trials and epidemiological studies have indicated its utility against several types of cancers. Along with its medicinal uses, Beta-carotene is used in cosmetics, food, and feed industries due to its colorant and antioxidant properties.

Stage of Development
A utility patent application has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (US 2005/0214898 A1). This technology is part of an active and ongoing research program. It is available for developmental research support/licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info
- Bhosale, P., Bernstein, P. S., �-carotene by Flavobacterium multivorum in the presence of inorganic salts and urea. J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2004, 31, 565-571.

Inventor(s): Prakash Bhosale, Paul Bernstein

Type of Offer: Licensing

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