Molecules. 2023 Aug 24;28(17):6234. doi: 10.3390/molecules28176234.
As a biodegradable and renewable material, polylactic acid is considered a major environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemical plastics. Microbial fermentation is the traditional method for lactic acid production, but it is still too expensive to compete with the petrochemical industry. Agro-industrial wastes are generated from the food and agricultural industries and agricultural practices. The utilization of agro-industrial wastes is an important way to reduce costs, save energy and achieve sustainable development. The present study aimed to develop a method for the valorization of Zizania latifolia waste and cane molasses as carbon sources for L-lactic acid fermentation using Rhizopus oryzae LA-UN-1. The results showed that xylose derived from the acid hydrolysis of Z. latifolia waste was beneficial for cell growth, while glucose from the acid hydrolysis of Z. latifolia waste and mixed sugars (glucose and fructose) from the acid hydrolysis of cane molasses were suitable for the accumulation of lactic acid. Thus, a three-stage carbon source utilization strategy was developed, which markedly improved lactic acid production and productivity, respectively reaching 129.47 g/L and 1.51 g/L·h after 86 h of fermentation. This work demonstrates that inexpensive Z. latifolia waste and cane molasses can be suitable carbon sources for lactic acid production, offering an efficient utilization strategy for agro-industrial wastes.