Production of Microbial Growth Media Using Brewer´S Spent Grain From Intafac Brewery, Onitsha, Anambra

Filed in Articles by on November 18, 2022

Production of Microbial Growth Media Using Brewer´S Spent Grain From Brewery, Onitsha, Anambra.


Recent advances in biotechnology ensure that brewer’s spent grain (BSG) is no longer regarded as a waste but rather a feedstock for producing several products.

Based on this, it is an undeniable fact that BSG has its own potential for sustainable reuse through biotechnological processes.

Thus, efficient recycling of BSG requires extensive work towards exploring newer applications and maximizing the use of existing technologies for sustainable and environmentally sound management, more insight is required for large-scale utilization, which involves both laboratory and field experiments with proper control processes.

Lignocellulosic substrates, being cheap and readily available, have recently gained considerable interest because of their possible use in other processes.

However, the utilization of BSG is limited especially in developing countries and new ways of making use of this residue would be beneficial for the process economy.

Brewers spent grain (BSG) is the major by-product of the brewing industry, representing around 85% of the total by-products generated.

BSG is a lignocellulosic material containing about 17% cellulose, 28% non -cellulosic polysaccharide, chiefly arabinoxylans, and 28% lignin.

BSG is available in large quantities throughout the year, but its main application has been limited to animal feeding, it can also serve as an attractive adjunct in human nutrition.

Recently, attempts have been made to use BSG in biotechnological processes, such as in the production of laboratory mediums for the cultivation of microorganisms.

This research emphasized the use of brewers’ spent grain in the production of microbial laboratory medium use for the cultivation of microorganisms.

The spent grain was collected from Intafact brewery Onitsha, Nigeria. The spent grain was mixed with crude cassava starch as a gelling agent to formulate a medium that will favor the growth of microorganisms especially fungal organisms.

Several analyses were run on the spent grain which includes proximate analysis(ash, fiber, protein, moisture, carbohydrate, fat), after several trials to formulate a replica of a microbial laboratory medium but this time with waste products of other industrials for cost-effectiveness.

At a certain concentration of crude cassava starch and a specific quantity of spent grain, the formulated medium gelled after been sterilized in an autoclave and left to cool, after doing both spreads, pour, and point inoculation methods.

The formulate medium favored fungal growth faster than bacterial growth, finally, the formulated medium was compared with a standard medium for the cultivation of fungal organisms which is sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) the fungal organisms grew faster and better on the formulated cost-effective medium.


Beer is the fifth most consumed beverage in the world apart from tea, carbonates, milk, and coffee with an estimated annual world production exceeding 1.34 billion hectoliters in 2002 (Fillaudeau et al., 2006).

In the manufacture of beer, various residues and by-products are generated.

The most common ones are spent grains, spent hops, and surplus yeast, which is generated from the main raw materials (Mussatto, 2009).

Spent grains are the by-products of the mashing process; which is one of the initial operations in a brewery in order to solubilize the malt and cereal grains to ensure adequate extraction of the wort (water with extracted matter) (Fillaudeau et al., 2006).

Following different separation strategies, the amount of brewers’ spent grain (BSG) generated could be about 85% of the total by-products (Tang et al., 2009), which accounts for 30 to 60% of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids generated by a typical brewery (Hang et al., 1975).

It was reported that about 3.4 million tons of BSG from the brewing industry are produced in the EU every year (Stojceska et al., 2008), out of which the UK alone contributes over 0.5 million tonnes of this waste annually.

However, Brazil, the world’s fourth-largest beer producer (8.5 billion liters/year) in 2002, generated 1.7 million tons of BSG (Mussatto et al., 2006).

Thus, BSG is a readily available, high volume low-cost by-product of brewing and is a potentially valuable resource for industrial exploitation (Robertson et al., 2010).

Thus, increased endogenous metabolism, as well as high \proteolytic activity in BSG, affects its composition within a very short time (Ikurior, 1995).

Several attempts have been made in utilizing BSG in animal feeds, production of value-added compounds (xylitol, lactic acid, among others), microorganisms cultivation, or simply as raw material for extraction of compounds such as sugars, proteins, acids, and antioxidants.

It was also found to be applicable in enzymes production, as an adsorbent for removing organic materials from effluents and immobilization of various substances (Mussatto, 2009).

This review describes the feasibility of transforming the BSG into a suitable laboratory medium for the growth of microorganisms, with environmental pollution assuming an alarming rate in Nigeria, the disposal or further utilization of industrial waste has become an important factor in the efficient operation of any plant.

Waste utilization or disposal in food industries is a major problem in maintaining sanitation and avoiding pollution of land, air, water (Gregory et al., 2008).

The most abundant renewable resource produced all around the world is represented by lignocellulosic biomasses (Prasad et al.,2007) , which include agricultural residues, food farming wastes, tree pruning residues, and the organic and paper fraction of urban solid waste.

Spent grains have characteristics that make them a prime candidate for many other important and valuable uses. As a human food additive or a nutriceutical product, spent grain would command a premium over its current usage.

As an energy source for a fermentation process. it could produce not only a valuable fuel but also nutrient-rich effluents and solid organic matter for composting.


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CNS Team.

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