Fermentation and enzyme technology emphasizes on 5 main research areas namely, fermentation technology for the production of microbial metabolites, enzyme technology, natural product discovery, bioremediation and marine biotechnology. The microbial metabolites currently under studied are enzymes (lipolytic, lignocellulolytic, xylanases, proteases and tannases), flavor compound (benzyldehyde), red carotenoid (astaxanthin) and biomass as fish feeds using either the submerged or solid state fermentation systems.
Submerged cultivation systems by batch or continuous modes by immobilized cells in fermentors are employed. Fermenters used include loop and tubular air-lift fermenters and strirred-tank fermenters. Solid state fermentation systems have also been employed for the modification of palm kernel cake (PKC) and other agrowastes as animal feeds and domestic wastes degradation. Research on enzyme technology concentrates on the application of enzymes mainly lipases and other lipolytic enzymes, xylanases, tannases and also lignin degrading enzymes (lignin peroxidases, manganese peroxidases and laccase) in detergency, oleochemicals production from palm based substrates, feed modifications, waste water treatment (biodegradation of textile dyes and textile mill effluents) and also deinking processes in recycling of waste/used papers. The area of natural product discovery and marine biotechnology deals with the extraction, purification, characterization and formulation of bioactive compounds from marine resources such as marine invertebrates, marine algae and marine microorganisms. Bioremediation is a pollution control technology that uses biological systems and microbial consortia to catalyze the degradation or transformation of various toxic chemicals including oil spill or recalcitrant compounds to less harmful forms