Production of Butyric Acid

Butyric acid, a 4-carbon short chain fatty acid is widely used in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical industries, as additive in drugs, plasticizer, fibre and raw material. It also finds application in dairy and food industries to increase the fragrance of beverages or foodstuff, treatment of Hemoglobinopathies, cancer and gastrointestinal diseases. Ethyl butyrate and butyl butyrate may have the potential to be used as fuels. In ruminants the stimulation of papillae growth by butyric acid is well described.
Butyrate concentration increase through dietary manipulation led to increase papillae size, feed intake, rumen fermentation rate and nutrient absorption in sheep and goats. The large scale production of butyric acid has overcome by chemical synthesis by crude oil because of its extensive supply and lower production cost. However, consumers are more interested in butyric acid of natural source, especially as additive for food and in pharmaceutical products. Researchers are interested in microbial fermentation technology for butyric acid production from renewable biomass due to decreasing availability of crude oil, growing demand for natural products and rising concerns over environment. Fermentation technology is one of the recognized alternative methods valid for manufacturing of butyric acid of natural origin.
This scribe, a student of PhD Biochemistry, IBBT, UVAS, Lahore under the supervision of Dr. Abu Saeed Hashmi has produced butyric acid through solid state fermentation of agricultural waste by mutant Clostridium tyrobutyricum and done its bio-evaluation for early rumen development in Lohi sheep. It is concluded that solid state fermentation technique can be used to produce good amount of butyric acid on commercial scale by using mutant C tyrobutyricum. Butyric acid supplemented in the diet enhanced the rumen development in sheep.

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