Delaware Patent of the Month – May 2022

Rhamnolipids are a class of glycolipids produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They can be used for industries ranging from food processing to petroleum making them one of the most versatile surfactants. These surfactants are products of fermentation but traditional production processes are known to result in low rhamnolipid concentrations and contain many impurities which can be difficult to remove. 

SuperBrewed Food, Inc. has created a new production method which creates a higher concentration of rhamnolipids and better handles impurities. Their process involves the use of a fermentation medium which has a carbon source and a nitrogen source. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is then fermented in this medium. The carbon source metabolizes to form a fermentation broth with a pH over 5. The broth is then acidulated, creating a medium with a pH below 5 which effectively separates the rhamnolipid which can be more easily extracted. The acidulated medium pulls all rhamnolipids with it, creating a dense concentration separate from the impurities.

SuperBrewed Food has set out to develop proteins that are more nutritious, delicious, and sustainable than traditionally available foods. Protein sources can have large and lasting impacts on the environment. As a result, demands for Earth conscious nutrition are surging but they often lack some balance between nutrition, performance, and affordability. Developing ways to better produce proteins is essential. This fermentation process for cost-effective rhamnolipid production is one step towards this goal.

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