Table 4: Prerequisites of immobilization supports and advantages of cell immobilization.

Prerequisites of immobilization supportsAdvantages of cell immobilization

Adequately large surface of the immobilization support
Easy handling and regeneration of the immobilization support
Availability of the immobilization support
Cost-effectiveness of the support and immobilization process
Acceptance of immobilization support by the consumers and avoidance of negative effects on the final food product (e.g., off-flavour formations)
Retention of immobilized cell viability
Avoidance of negative effects of cell immobilization on biological and metabolic activity of immobilized cells
Food-grade purity of the immobilization support
Prolonged activity and stability of the immobilized cells, since the immobilization support may act as a protective agent against physicochemical changes (pH, temperature, bile salts, etc.)
Higher cell densities which lead to higher productivities and increased substrate uptake and yield
Increased tolerance to high substrate concentration and final product inhibition
Reduction of risk of microbial contamination due to high cell densities and enhanced fermentation activity
Ability for low-temperature fermentation and/or maturation for certain food products
Reduction of fermentation and maturation times in certain circumstances