Three important strains of Mucor circinelloides
grown in complete and minimal media for specified period (72 h, 120 h and 168 h) under submerged fermentation conditions were investigated for their potential antioxidants/secondary metabolite production. All mycelial extracts demonstrated effective antioxidant activities in terms of β-carotene/linoleic acid bleaching, radical scavenging, reduction of metal ions and chelating abilities against ferrous ions. Different extraction methods and solvent systems affected the recovery yield and antioxidant activities of the extracts significantly (p
0.05). Ethanolic extracts were found to be rich source of antioxidant components and subsequently more effective in antioxidant properties. Fermentation period and media used also significantly affected (p
0.05) the antioxidant production and the resulting antioxidant properties. The (ethanolic) extracts of all the strains from late exponential growth phase (120 h) showed highest antioxidant production with topmost reducing, chelating and radical scavenging capabilities. Strain MC277.49 was found to be the highest producer of antioxidants followed by MC108.16 and WJ11. Phenolic compounds were detected significantly in higher (p
0.05) amount succeeded by the condensed tannins and flavonoids. Total phenol content of each extract was attributed to overall antioxidant capacity. Submerged fermentation with nutritional stress conditions were found to be excellent way of producing surplus amount of natural antioxidants/secondary metabolites with their vast potential commercial application in food and pharmaceutical industries.
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