Bioprocess Strategies for Vitamin B12 Production by Microbial Fermentation and Its Market Applications

Álvaro Calvillo, Teresa Pellicer, Marc Carnicer, Antoni Planas

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Vitamin B12 is a widely used compound in the feed and food, healthcare and medical industries that can only be produced by fermentation because of the complexity of its chemical synthesis. For this reason, finding better producer strains and optimizing their bioprocesses have been the main focus of industrial producers over the last few decades. In this review, we initially provide a historical overview of vitamin B12 research and the main biosynthetic characteristics of the two microorganism families typically used for its industrial production: several strains of Propionibacterium freudenreichii and strains related to Pseudomonas denitrificans. Later, a complete summary of the current state of vitamin B12 industrial production as well as the main advances and challenges for improving it is detailed, with a special focus on bioprocess optimization, which aims not only to increase production but also sustainability. In addition, a comprehensive list of the most important and relevant patents for the present industrial strains is provided. Finally, the potential applications of vitamin B12 in different markets are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number365
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Propionibacterium freudenreichii
  • Pseudomonas denitrificans
  • cobalamin
  • cyanocobalamin production


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