Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Centro Tecnológico Programa de Pós-Graduação em Engenharia Química

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The state of Santa Catarina is the largest apple producer in Brazil and due to this 

potential this work purposes the utilization of an airlift bioreactor with external 

circulation for the production of apple vinegar. It is an innovative application that 

presented advantages when compared to the classical process of vinegar production, 

mainly economically due to the productivity increase. For the vinegar production, four 

cultures in an airlift bioreactor and another four in a classical bioreactor were carried 

out. Temperature and aeration were controlled during the culture experiments. 

Commercial alcohol was added to stop acetification, because the alcohol content of the 

apple fermentate was low for this process. The airlift bioreactor presented a higher 

production of acetic acid when compared to the classical one. The maximum average 

production of acetic acid obtained during the fourth culture was 4.2 g.L





for the 

airlift bioreactor and 1.6 g.L





for the classical bioreactor. Commercial apple 

vinegars were analyzed for obtaining the reference values (pH, total acidity, specific 

mass, ashes, alcohol content, volatile acidity, dry extract). It was detected that some 

commercial vinegars do not meet the legislation regarding to the ashes and dry extract 

content. The physical-chemical and sensorial characteristics of the apple vinegars 

produced in the airlift bioreactor and also in the classical bioreactor operated in batch, 

met the legislation standards and were compared to the commercial apple vinegars. It 

was verified that the ashes and dry extract content were superior to those found in the 

commercial products. Kinetics and stoichiometric parameters were obtained for the 

studied bioreactors. The cellular growth rate was 0.14 d


 for the airlift bioreactor and 

0.10 d


 for the classical bioreactor. The average conversion factor of alcohol into acetic 

acid for the airlift bioreactor was 0.56 g.g


 and 0.25 g.g


for the classical reactor. The 

average conversion factor of alcohol into cells was 0.009 g.g


 for the airlift bioreactor 

and 0.006 g.g


 for the classical bioreactor. Through the obtained data during the 

cultures carried out, it can be concluded that an airlift bioreactor is more advantageous 

to produce vinegar than a classical one because its superiority is clear in all analyzed 




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