• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 4 (2021)

Potential of Fruit Peel Waste in Growing Cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrica

Potential of Fruit Peel Waste in Growing Cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrica

Title: Potential of Fruit Peel Waste in Growing Cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrica
Tan Yeong Hwang, Ho An Qi, Chai Mee Kin, Wong Ling Shing, Djearamane Sinouvassane , Thirunavukkarasu Chinnasamy

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Cite this article as:
Hwang, T.Y., Qi, H.A., Kin, C.M., Shing, W.L., Sinouvassane , D., Chinnasamy , T., 2021. Potential of Fruit Peel Waste in Growing Cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrica. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(4), pp. 711-719

Tan Yeong Hwang College of Engineering, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Jalan Ikram-Uniten, Kajang, Selangor 43000, Malaysia
Ho An Qi Faculty of Health and Life Science, INTI International University, Persiaran Perdana BBN, Putra Nilai, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan 71800, Malaysia
Chai Mee Kin College of Engineering, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Jalan Ikram-Uniten, Kajang, Selangor 43000, Malaysia
Wong Ling Shing Faculty of Health and Life Science, INTI International University, Persiaran Perdana BBN, Putra Nilai, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan 71800, Malaysia
Djearamane Sinouvassane Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kampar, Perak 31900, Malaysia
Thirunavukkarasu Chinnasamy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pondicherry University, Puducherry 605014, India
Email to Corresponding Author

Potential of Fruit Peel Waste in Growing Cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrica

Fruit peels are usually disposed of or treated as fertilizer. The peel, however, contains rich nutrients that can be used as a medium for growing microbes. Conventional culture medium is widely used for growing microbes, but the cost is very high and it is not suitable to produce cyanobacterium-based biofuel, biomass, and in other applications. Therefore, this study explores the potential for using fruit peels as a culture medium for Anabaena cylindrica. The fruit peels were dried, homogenized, and filtered to make different concentrations of fruit peel media (5%, 10% and 20%). For comparison, BG-11 medium acted as a positive control whereas deionized water serves as a negative control in this experiment. Growth of A. cylindrica in different types of media was analyzed after cell counting using a hemacytometer and biomass measuring.  The cyanobacterial growth rate and biomass production were recorded in different types of fruit peel media with different concentrations. A. cylindrica have greater biomass yield when growing in 20% papaya peel medium and a higher growth rate when growing in 10% pineapple peel media compared to that growing in the BG-11 medium. In other words, the fruit peel media have more potential in growing cyanobacteria than conventional medium.

Agriculture waste; Biomass production; Cell culture


Anabaena cylindrica are cyanobacteria which belong to the Anabaena species and are found to appear singly or in a chain of cells. Their vegetative cells possess the capability to carry out carbon dioxide fixation and nitrogen fixation simultaneously. Besides vegetative cells, A. cylindrica can transform into two cell types that are heterocysts and akinetes (Hori et al., 2002). Nitrogen fixation will develop when nitrogen is limited (Heng et al., 2014). Heterocysts would suppress nearby cells from developing into another heterocyst, but adjacent vegetative cells will be procured to transform into akinetes, which have a thick cell wall (Qiu et al., 2018). Although both of these specialized cells cannot carry out photosynthesis, they can resist in the adverse environment and grow back into a vegetative cell in a favorable environment (Sukenik et al., 2019).

    Many investigations have been done on cyanobacterium biomass, including the Anabaena species, to produce environmentally friendly biofuel products, such as bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, and biodiesel (Patel et al., 2018; Vargas et al., 2018). Additionally, cyanobacteria have economic applications in the nutrition, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries due to their valuable co-products (Hamouda et al., 2017; Singh et al., 2017). However, there are challenges in growing cyanobacteria. One of them is the high cost of culture medium (deCastro et al., 2015). Large amount of media is needed in extensive practical studies for cultivation, streak plate or pour plate and other experiments but low cost media is less available. Therefore, there were studies finding alternatives to these expensive commercial medium (deCastro et al., 2015; Beyl et al., 2019; Jiang et al., 2019).

Due to extensive agricultural exercises nowadays, there have been many vegetables and fruit produced daily in Malaysia (Grünwald, 2021). Papaya, pineapple, mango, and banana are fruits that are most widely consumed by Malaysians or used for the food industry (Rozhan, 2017). About 40% of the fruit's total mass is made up from the inedible portion like peels, seeds, and pulps (Cheok et al., 2018). Some irresponsible people would dispose of these unwanted fruit parts improperly into the environment, leading to environment pollution (Gowe, 2015; Tonini et al., 2018). The dumping site that accumulates this fruit waste becomes the culture area of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, or yeast (Cheok et al., 2018), and produces leachate that pollutes ground water and affect aquatic life (Ali et al., 2014).

Fruit wastes are cheap organic ingredients because they are readily available as domestic waste. Moreover, they consist of high amounts of sugar that can be utilized by cell (Katiyar et al., 2019; Mohammed et al., 2020). Fruit also contains various kinds of minerals and other hydrocarbons in the form of carbohydrates, protein, and lipids (Septembre-Malaterre et al., 2016). Therefore, it would be better if there was potential for using fruit wastes to design a culture medium for cyanobacteria. It would eliminate the consequences associated with improperly disposed fruit residues.

To date, there are reports showing that fruit peels have been used for formulation in culture medium for microbial (Sarkar et al., 2019), fungal (Choi et al., 2015; Anbu et al., 2017), and yeast (Dhanasekaran et al., 2011) growth, but their capacity to cultivate cyanobacteria has not been confirmed yet. Hence, the research aims to find out the potential of growing cyanobacteria by biological waste from fruits such as mango, papaya, and pineapple. The growth of one commonly available cyanobacteria, A. cylindrica, on the medium produced from the fruit waste is determined as well.


    A. cylindrica grew successfully on the nutrient-rich fruit peel medium. The biomass concentration, productivity, and specific growth rate were enhanced when cultivating in fruit peel media. Fruit peel media have the potential to replace the expensive chemically-synthetic medium. From the experiment, A. cylindrica was able to produce its greatest biomass in a 20% papaya medium and possesses the highest growth rate in a 10% pineapple peel medium.


The Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia (Bold Grant: 10436494/B/2019006) supported this project.


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