<< Return to Industry Reflections

Supplying Quality: One Strain at a Time

In the large-scale liquid bacterial fermentation world, there are two primary ways to grow bacteria: as individual strains or in combination with others. At Microbial Discovery Group, we grow one strain at a time as it has served us well over the past decade.

Truth be told, if I could find a way to grow multiple strains in one batch that was produced through a consistent process, resulting in high yield and uniformity in strain ratio, was guaranteed for purity, and ensured maximum sporulation – I would use it for our wastewater treatment products. Over the years we have experimented in finding different ways to accomplish this large task, but sadly none of the results measured up against our 5 criteria for success. Therefore, we are leveraging our expertise in growing one strain at a time to consistently meet our customers’ needs.

Growing one strain at a time ensures:

  • Highest strain yield
  • Guaranteed purity
  • Process consistency
  • Uniformity of strain ratio
  • Maximum % sporulation

Highest Strain Yield

Throughout the years we have found ways to get extremely high yields when growing one strain at a time. I believe our record is just under 3 x 1010 CFU/mL in the fermentation broth. I wish I could say all strains yielded in this way, but each strain tends to have its own “personality” and what works for one strain, doesn’t always work for another. This is especially true between different Bacillus species. When growing two or more strains (or worse, two or more species) in the same batch, you are making compromises between the strains and limiting the potential yield of the individual. If you run the math or economics, you will find it is better to grow each strain individually to get a high yield followed by blending the strains together after processing is complete. This also delivers a more consistent product.

Guaranteed Purity

I may be Captain obvious here, but when growing one strain at a time, you are ensuring the purity of that strain. Our custom manufacturing customers want individual strains. If you grow multiple strains in one batch, obviously you aren’t a fit for those single-strain customers. When you can grow pure, single-strains this creates a business that many companies cannot supply. By producing our strains individually, they can be used in our formulations at the formulated ratios or we can also supply to customers who want the individual strain. This provides versatility in marketing pure strains or blends.

Process Consistency

One thing our team of fermentation production experts really enjoy is a batch that runs as expected. In our world, a consistent, expected run means not only a high yield but also a fit into our harvest schedule, allowing us to maintain a normal tank schedule. In the pharmaceutical world, inconsistency in a run often translates into a poor batch where something has gone wrong. This can lead to an audit and other unwanted consequences. We are somewhat similar in that we like consistency as this means things are going well. If you are growing multiple strains, it is incredibly difficult to pinpoint what is “normal”. Each strain has its own personality, will grow at different times, compete with each other for nutrients, and sporulate on a varying schedule. While we don’t have direct experience in this type of run, I can believe every batch would be different than the next one. While that might work for some, that is not a fit for our world. For our needs and the needs of our customers, consistency is key.

Uniformity of Strain Ratio

In addition to checking for count and purity at each step of the growing and downstream processes, final QC testing is completed before a lot of culture powder is marked as approved. This testing provides us with a spore count for each individual strain lot. Based on that count we can then blend each strain to deliver a 100% consistent formulated product that provides each strain at the same ratio batch to batch. Our customers demand this and growing individually allows us to guarantee this consistency. Many of our customers have done field trials with these products and they expect it to work the same each time. While we can’t control all factors of these trials, we can control our product’s quality. Our customers are provided with an assurance of this reliability in our products by growing individually and then blending the final formulation based on the count of each strain. As eluded to earlier, when strains are grown together, each batch will have different end results due to the strains growing and sporulating at different rates and times. The final strain composition of each batch grown in this manner will be the ratio of strains in your final formulation. There is no adjustment possible with this method and the promise of consistency goes out the window. Growing individually and blending at the correct ratio leads to product consistency and strain ratio uniformity.

Maximum % Sporulation

In our business, we are paid to deliver high-count spores and not vegetative cells. There are trade secrets to ensuring not only high vegetative cell yield but also maximum sporulation resulting in economically viable spore products. For this to occur, the cells must be synchronized in their sporulation. If you have different populations, sporulating at different times, you will end up with a lot of vegetative (unsporulated) cells in the final product. What does this mean for the final product? Essentially: a much lower final concentration. Any bacteria that failed to sporulate will die through the various downstream processes. Similar to compromising vegetative cell yield when growing multiple strains at once, the same holds true for producing spores. We grow each strain individually to avoid having to compromise.

Competitive Advantage

We have found that when you can provide pure strains, business opportunities are created that many companies cannot compete with. In fact, a lot of our customers request individual pure strains. By producing our strains individually and blending at the correct ratio later, we can meet the needs of these customers as well as those that are looking for a consistent blend. This provides versatility in business opportunities and gives us a competitive advantage.

In our view, the advantages of growing one strain at a time greatly outweigh the temptation to grow multiple strains in one batch. These advantages include the highest yield, consistency of process, uniformity of strain ratio, maximum sporulation, and guaranteed purity. This combination of advantages has helped Microbial Discovery Group serve the many needs of customers and become a global leader in Bacillus fermentation.

CONTACT US if you’d like to hear more about these advantages and about the MDG difference.

 

Search Insights
Recently Posted Insights

MDG Exhibits at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2024

Every year, we participate in trade shows and exhibitions around the globe, showcasing our innovative microbial solutions in the wastewater industry. This year, we will be attending the International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition from...

How to Help Your Wastewater Customers Prepare for Winter

The changing of the seasons can have a pronounced effect on wastewater systems, particularly when the weather gets cold. Lower temperatures correspond to a decrease in microbial activity, which slows the treatment process. If you’re looking for a solution for your...

The Importance of Strain Purity Testing in Custom Fermentation

At MDG, we are Bacillus experts with over 20 years of experience growing pure cultures for our customers. We are continually honing our methods to find the most effective, efficient way to create quality microbial ingredients, and one contributing factor is purity...

A Guide to Wastewater Success: People, Products, and Programs

Working in the wastewater treatment industry comes with its challenges. Your customers may face problems like sludge buildup, odors, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production, and fats, oils, and grease (FOG) accumulation. As their supplier, you need a solution you can count...

The Commercialization of Microbial Solutions

As a Bacillus manufacturer, we work to grow our partners’ pure single-strain Bacillus cultures and scale the process so that they receive exactly what they need. Our success in the commercialization of microbial solutions comes from our trusted process and our...

How to Handle Odors Within Septic Systems After Spring Thaw

Spring’s warmer weather and longer days are always welcome after a cold winter, but for septic tank owners and operators, this seasonal transition can bring a significant problem: odors. Now that spring thaw has occurred and the heat of summer is setting in, septic...

In-Field and In-House Expertise in Wastewater Treatment

When your wastewater customers are facing challenges, you want a partner with proven success and extensive expertise in wastewater treatment. At Microbial Discovery Group, we can be that partner. MDG stands as a leading expert in bioaugmentation, holding in-field and...

2024 EXPANSION: CONTINUED GROWTH AT MDG

Since the completion of our Oak Creek facility in the fall of 2022, we have steadily grown our capacities and capabilities as a trusted provider of Bacillus-based solutions. We are excited to announce that our growth has given us the opportunity to expand our...

Industry Reflections

Bacillus, Distinguishing Species and Strains Part I

Bacillus Species Identification Methods: Definitions, Pros, and Cons Understanding the effectiveness of Bacillus products is easy to understand because in many cases we can visibly see the difference. But, it is hard to see what exactly makes up the product. Like most companies, you have probably asked suppliers “what

Fats, Oils and Grease: Bacillus vs. The Alternatives

What do many commercial, residential, industrial and institutional facilities all have in common? If you said a door, you’re technically correct; but for the purpose of today’s article the correct answer was Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)! All of your customers facilities have drains, and drains are sought-after hosts

Bioaugmentation

What is bioaugmentation?

At MDG, we continue to discover all the possibilities to treat wastewater with Bacillus. Through years of research and development, we’ve found that bioaugmentation is the answer for wastewater treatment. Bioaugmentation is the process of adding scientifically selected organisms to a microbial community to enhance that community. The term bioaugmentation

Pulp and Paper Lagoons Problems

It’s been a tough few years for the pulp and paper (P&P) industry. With an increase in foreign competition and a lowered demand for paper, many facilities have had to tighten their belt. One of the most probable victims of these cuts are the wastewater treatment systems. Wastewater needs

Supplying Quality: One Strain at a Time

In the large-scale liquid bacterial fermentation world, there are two primary ways to grow bacteria: as individual strains or in combination with others. At Microbial Discovery Group, we grow one strain at a time as it has served us well over the past decade. Truth be told, if I

News and Insights

The Benefits of Liquid Dosing

Many wastewater distributors are faced with finding an efficient product to combat common challenges such as sludge, fats, oils, and grease, and odors. Bacillus-based products have been proven highly effective and reliable to reduce, eliminate, and alleviate these challenges in the wastewater market. Did You Know These Products Come in

Are You Offering a Bacillus RV Septic Treatment?

Outdoor activities like RV camping are an ideal way for travelers to escape indoor isolation. It’s all about packing up the necessities and hitting the open road. Living out of an RV camper for any amount of time will likely include eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom. These are

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Septic System Back-Ups

According to the EPA, about 1 in 5 US homes depend on septic systems, and with the uptick in professionals working from home, septic tank maintenance and backup prevention tips are among some of the top online searches. Septic service companies are in high demand, more people are home

FAQs on Bacillus Strains in the I&I Market

1. How do MDG’s Bacillus strains help reduce a variety of organic materials such as debris, decaying food, human and pet waste and FOG? MDG offers Bacillus-based products with different Bacillus strains that have a wide array of capabilities. Bacillus are living organisms and need food to live and multiply. They break down and consume