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Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a promising alternative to plant cellulose in the field of biomedical, food and textile industries. BC is a versatile biomaterial due to its pure aggregation of cellulose and also its superior properties such as high purity, mechanical strength, crystallinity, and thermal degrading capacity, more water holding capacity, biocompatibility and biodegradability. Owing to its high water holding capacity and tensile strength, microbial cellulose has become an essential raw material for products such as high fidelity acoustic speakers, papers, dessert foods, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Pure cellulose can be produced by some microorganisms, but the most active producer being Acetobacter xylinum. A. senengalensis MA1 reported here was isolated originally from sugarcane juice producing a high quality BC of superior quality than plant cellulose.

Characteristics of BC

BC producing A. senengalensis MA1 is a gram-negative, obligate aerobic, motile coccus. BC
has a broad range of superior properties such as

  • High purity & Mechanical strength
  • Crystallinity
  • Biocompatibility & Biodegradability
  • Water holding and thermal degrading capacity
  • Tensile strength
  • Metabolite profile of the spent medium could suggest biodrink potential

Optimized conditions for BC production

Optimized fermentation parameters and the modification of HS medium for production of BC
gel by A. senengalensis MA1 are

Glycerol: 50 mL L’ Additive: PEG 6000 -7.76 g L’
Incubating temperature: 33.5 °C Duration: 30 days
pH: 4.5 BC yield: 300-400 g L
Yeast extract: 7.50 g L’ Inoculum: 25 to 30%

Major applications of Bacterial Cellulose (BC)

Bacterial cellulose is a versatile biomaterial and has found broad applications in food, pharmaceutical, paper, and packaging industries, more particularly in the production of hydrogels and nanocomposites. BC applications are also found in many processes giving products like high- quality paper, nanocomposites, wound repair materials, and even artificial blood vessels. Some of the products made using BC produced by A. senengalensis MA1 are furnished below.

  • The formulation of BC nanofibers (NF) was used for the encapsulation of probiotic GRAS strain, Lactobacillus acidophilus 016 towards development of probiotic formulations.
  • The developed BCNF (composite nanofibre) had more thermal stability than the conventional PVA nanofibres.
  • The produced BCNF along with the immobilized probiotics (L. acidophilus 016) could find its application in food as it is safe for human consumption.
  • SEM micrograph of L. acidophilus 016
  • BCNF could be used in heat-processed foods due to its immobilized on BC-NF nanostructure and remarkable stability up to 180 °C.

Spray dried and freeze-dried BC was developed in combination with maltodextrin (wall material) for evaluating its efficiency as an excipient in the development of probiotic formulations. Spray dried formulation had better efficiency in maintaining the viability of the encapsulated L. acidophilus 016. The spray dried BC formulation showed better physical parameters i.e., low a (0.33) and low hygroscopicity (9.7) compared to the chitosan formulation.


Probiotic strain L. acidophilus 016 in BC slurry was inoculated into the cooled jelly solution in the ratio of 3:7 to a final population count of 10°CFU g of jelly. After mixing, the samples were refrigerated at 4 °C in order to initiate the gelation process and the prepared probiotic jellies for a period of 30 days. The viable count of probiotic has maintained commendably with the slight pH reduction during storage.
Salient Features of BC.

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