keywords: Pectinase, apple peel, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, fermentation
Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus isolated from agricultural dump site, Castor Research farm and serene environment were screened for their ability to produce pectinase using apple peel by solid state fermentation technique. The test fungi were screened for their ability to produce pectinase using modified Czapek–Dox liquid medium incubated at 37oC for 24 h, plates showing zones of clearing around the colonies were selected for secondary screening and their crude extracts used for quantitative polygalaturonase assay. The results obtained showed that pectinase production (mg/ml) by A. niger and A. fumigatus were higher (0.018 and 0.012, respectively) while that of Mucor spp was the least (0.0001). Furthermore, the optimal pectinase activities were highest at the pH of 6.5 for both fungi, while A. niger and A. fumigatus showed optimal pectinase activities (mg/ml) of 0.014 and 0.013, respectively at 40ºC. The result obtained in this study has shown that both Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus could be used industrially for pectinase production using apple peel.