15:30 – 16:00 – Dr. Ruud A. Weusthuis, Wageningen University
Monascus ruber as a cell factory for the production of lactic acid at low pH
Lactic acid has already been produced for decades for the food and feed market. Lactic acid can also be used for the production of the biobased polyester polylactic acid, but this application has a lower added value. The existing manufacturing processes are too expensive. To effectively compete with fossil based polymers it is therefore necessary to reduce costs significantly.
We have identified which traits a microorganism ideally should have to produce lactic acid efficiently at low costs. Based on this, we have isolated the most suitable microorganism from nature, and converted it into an effective lactic acid producing cell factory by genetic and evolutionary engineering.
About dr. R.A. Weusthuis
Ruud Weusthuis has studied Biology in Groningen. He did his PhD in Industrial Biotechnology at the Delft University of Technology (1994). He joined Wageningen Research, aiming at the production of chemicals by microorganisms. In 2007 he moved to the Wageningen University, setting up his own research line as associate professor Industrial Biotechnology, at the department of Bioprocess Engineering.