Pierre Guerin and the CNRS - Institute for the Chemistry of Natural Substances - have developed a fermenter that allows the culture of microorganisms in liquid medium and on solid support in a single apparatus.
In order to study and optimize the culture of microorganisms that are a source of valuable molecules in pharmacy, cosmetics and nutrition, UNIFERTEX™ is used by researchers and industrialists, with fermentation on a solid basis (nutritional agar, agricultural by-products, etc.). Liquid fermentation, which is the most common technology, is simpler to implement, but limits the production of certain recoverable compounds. Solid fermentation on nutrient agar is closer to conditions in natural habitats, but was only feasible on small areas. The partners brought the two processes together in a single equipment, coupled with a solid phase extraction technology (the molecules of interest are captured during cultivation by a specific resin), making the process economical in solvents and energy.