Difference between Batch and Continuous Fermentation

Fermentation is the metabolic process of breakdown of organic molecules in the absence of oxygen with the aid of microorganisms. It is mostly used in industrial processes for the production of beverages and food materials. There are four modes of fermentation: batch, fed batch, continuous, and open fermentation.

Batch Fermentation

In a batch fermentation process, all the ingredients are combined at once, then undergoes reaction without any further input from outside. This type of fermentation goes through three phases – lag phase, where the microbial cells adapt to the environment, exponential phase, where the cells grow in size and then comes a stationary phase where all the nutrients have been consumed, and the cells die. It is used in industries for the production of wines and bread.

Continuous Fermentation

Continuous fermentation is a process where ingredients are added throughout the process as per the need, and the products are removed as they are formed. The exponential phase is usually prolonged in this type because of continuous addition of nutrients.

Let us know about the differences between batch and continuous fermentation now.

Batch Fermentation

Continuous Fermentation

Type of Fermentation

It is a closed batch.

It is an open batch.

Nutrient addition

All the nutrients are added at once, in the beginning.

Nutrients are added throughout the batch.

Product extraction

The product is extracted at the end of the batch.

The product is continuously removed while the batch is operating.

Turnover rate

The turnover rate (formation of product) is low.

The turnover rate is high.

Type of product

It is used to extract secondary metabolites such as antibiotics.

It is used to extract primary metabolites such as amino acids and proteins.

Growth conditions inside the fermenter

The growth conditions can be changed by altering pH and dissolved oxygen.

The growth conditions have to be maintained throughout the operation of the batch.

Size of the fermenter

Large fermenters are used.

Small size fermenters are used.

Chances of contamination

It has less chances of contamination.

It has a high chance of contamination.

Microbial phases

The microbes go through three phases – lag, exponential and stationary.

The microbes go through a very short lag phase and then maintain themselves at the exponential phase.

Nutrient consumption

Nutrients are consumed at a slower rate.

Nutrients are consumed rapidly.

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FAQs

What is the difference between batch fed-batch and continuous fermentation?

In a fed batch culture, nutrients are added systematically, unlike a continuous batch where nutrients are added continuously.

What are the advantages of continuous fermentation?

Advantages of continuous fermentation are – it gives more product, it doesn’t require cleaning of the fermenter after every product extraction, and it is very efficient.

What are the two types of continuous culture?

The two types of continuous culture are: open continuous culture and closed continuous culture.

What are the disadvantages of batch culture?

The major disadvantage of batch culture is its low productivity.

What are the disadvantages of continuous cultivation?

Continuous fermentation has the disadvantage of getting contaminated very easily.

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