Characterization of biomasses, concentrates, and permeates of dried powder of Kombucha fermentation of spinach (Amaranthus sp.) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea) with membrane microfiltration and freeze drying techniques for natural sources of folic acid

Fermentation of spinach (Amaranthus sp) and Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) using Kombucha Culture has been shown to produce biomass that has the potential to become natural sources of folic acid. To produce the materials, following the fermentation, the biomass was filtered using membrane microfiltration (0.15 µm) at a pressure of 40 psia, at room temperature, yielding the concentrate and the permeate fractions. Following this step, freeze drying process was done on the biomass feeds, as well as on the concentrate and permeate fractions. For the freeze drying stage, the samples were frozen, and the condenser was kept at -50°C for 40 hours, while the pressure in the chamber was set at 200 Pa. Freeze drying results showed that the final products, have differences in compositions, as well as differences in the dominat monomers of folates. After water content was driven out, freeze drying increased the concentrations of folic acid in the dried products, and was found to be the highest in the concentrate fractions. Freeze drying has been shown to be capable of protecting the folates from heat and oxidative damages that typicaly occur with other types of drying. The final freeze dried concentrates of fermentation of spinach and broccoli were found to contain folic acid at 2531.88 µg/mL and 1626.94 µg/mL, total solids at 87.23% and 88.65 %, total sugar at 22.66 µg/mL and 25.13 µg/mL, total reducing sugar at 34.46 mg/mL and 15.22 mg/mL, as well as disolved protein concentrations at 0.93 mg/mL and 1.45 mg/mL. Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectometry (LC-MS) identification of the folates in the freeze dried concentrates of fermented spinach and broccoli was done using folic acid and glutamic acid standard solutions as the reference materials. The results showed the presence of folic acid and showed that the dominant monomers of molecules of folates with molecular weights of 441.44 Da. and 441.54 Da. for spinach and broccoli respectively. Moreover, the monomers of glutamic acid were also found at molecular weights of 147.21 Da. and 147.35 Da. for spinach and broccoli respectively. Thus, it has been shown that kombucha fermentation of spinach and broccoli, followed by membrane microfiltration and freeze drying process, could produce dried materials with high concentrations of folates that have the potential to be used as naturally derived sources of folic acid.
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