Peptones are a mixture of peptides of different molecular weights resulting from the action of enzymes (plant, animal, or microbial) or acid on protein substrates of various origins. Generally used for their nitrogen contribution, they have historically had issues with batch-to-batch consistency, which has fueled criticisms for their use in various applications (be it fermentation, diagnostics, or cell culture supplementation).
However, the biological starting raw materials and the production site itself contribute to variability, and raw material origins (animal or plant), geography, and feeding practices may introduce varying degrees of heterogenicity. The condition and age of the production site, the level of automation, whether production protocols are optimized, the amount of human intervention that occurs, and other factors can contribute to the level of variability found in the final products.
About the Company
A manufacturer of peptones for biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, and industrial fermentation markets for nearly 50 years, Solabia has made significant progress in reducing batch variability through the evolution of production tools and the optimization of production protocols. The variability of peptones, raw materials, and production processes have all been taken into consideration and culminated in early 2011 with the opening of a completely redesigned, modern, and automated production facility at the company’s flagship production site in France. Featuring custom-designed hydrolysis tanks, completely closed systems, and automated substrate introduction, this animal-tissue-free facility has enabled Solabia to better address variability issues and to achieve a much greater level of quality (color, clarity, performance) and consistency—both batch-to-batch and product-to-product.
Appropriate demonstrations of consistency can be found in batch reviews of actual productions, as microbial models can prove challenging in light of variables in media composition and the particularity of the microorganisms themselves. Total nitrogen is pertinent, as it represents the main objective of the peptone, the nitrogen contribution. Using the Kjeldahl method, an analysis of total nitrogen from 36 recent batches of tryptone (a pancreatic digest of casein), and 23 batches of papaic soy peptone, demonstrated high levels of consistency upon the calculation of the mean, standard deviation (SD), and coefficient of variation (CV). Additional data on the same sample pools concerning pH and sulfuric ash reinforce the low variance/high consistency characterizations.
All results demonstrate very low CVs, reflecting high consistency for critical parameters of peptone production. Data for pH and sulfuric ash contribute to consistency, as they demonstrate standardization in production protocols.
Peptone consistency is a critical element touching all market segments that use peptones in media formulations. While the successful integration of a peptone is often measured solely by growth potential, real added value in peptone use arises from its consistency over time. When defining media compositions (be it in industrial fermentation, diagnostic culture media, or as a supplement to cell culture formulations), individual components must perform as expected each time, so that major adjustments in ingredient concentration, composition, or quality are not necessary.
The strategy of modern peptone manufacturing at Solabia incorporates a global approach that encompasses market tendencies (i.e., kosher, halal, non-allergen, non-GMO, etc.), site dedication (plant peptones produced at a site devoid of meat peptones), raw material selection, and the optimization and standardization of contemporary, sensitive manufacturing tools. The sum of these parts has resulted in greatly reduced variability and a level of consistency that supports the objectives of our customers by optimizing their operations and often exceeding established quality standards.