The microalgae Galdieria sulphuraria grows under highly acidic conditions. This is why Prof. Dr Daniel Pleissner and Nicole Händel – both scientists at the ILU – believe it is capable of both decontaminating and recycling organic waste streams. In fact, both were able to show that microbial contamination on a hydrolysate from food waste remains controllable after non-sterile heterotrophic G. sulphuraria grew on it. Neither the pathogen Salmonella sp. nor the coliform bacterium Escherichia coli could be detected. For Enterococcus spp., Enterobacteriacae and moulds, only nine germs per gram of biomass were found. The results show that the culture is not contaminated under acidic growth conditions, so that the sterilisation of waste materials can be dispensed with. It is assumed that such an approach can lead to efficient processes for future waste-based bioeconomy strategies. Here you can find the complete study in English.

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