Profiling microorganisms with potential for amylase production in low cost culture media has been widely recognized due to its broad applicability. The aim of this study was to select yeast strains with potential to produce amylolytic enzymes by solid state fermentation. Fifty-four (54) strains were assessed and three exhibited ability to produce amylases: Candida parapsilosis with 14.68 U/mL (146.8 U/g substrate); Rhodotorula mucilaginosa with 25.0 U/mL (250 U/g substrate), and Candida glabrata with 25.39 U/mL (253.9 U/g substrate), in solid state fermentation, for 120 h at 28°C, using wheat bran with 70% moisture. The enzymes exhibited maximum activity at a pH of 7.0 and at 60°C. Amylases demonstrated satisfactory structural stability, maintaining their catalytic activity after 1 h at 50°C. All enzymes were ethanol tolerant and retained more than 70% of their original activities in 15% ethanol solution. Corn starch was efficiently hydrolyzed by enzymes and the extracts produced by C. parapsilosis and C. glabrata exhibited dextrinizing activity, while those produced by R. mucilaginosa exhibited saccharifying activity.
Key words: Candida parapsilosis, Candida glabrata, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, dextrinizing and saccharifying activity.
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