Batch Culture- Definition, Principle, Process, Applications, Limitations

Batch culture is a type of fermentation process in which a closed bacterial culture system is used to produce microbial products or biomass.

In batch culture, all the medium components (such as nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc.) are placed in the reactor (also called fermenter or bioreactor) at the start of cultivation, except for atmospheric gases (such as oxygen or carbon dioxide), acid or base for pH control, and antifoaming agents.

There is a continuous change in the nutrient concentrations and the metabolite concentrations over time, and the system remains unsteady. The microbial metabolites may be produced at a primary or secondary stage of the microbial cultivation period.

Fermentation is terminated when either all the nutrient is exhausted or the desired concentration of product is achieved. The culture is then harvested and processed to obtain the final product.

Batch culture has the following advantages:

  • Reduced risk of contamination or cell mutation as the growth period is short.
  • Lower capital investment when compared to continuous processes for the same bioreactor volume.
  • More flexibility with varying product/biological systems.
  • Higher raw material conversion levels, resulting from a controlled growth period.