A comparative evaluation of three Aspergillus species according to their pectinase production in solid-state fermentation was performed. Solid-state fermentation offers several potential advantages for enzyme production by fungal strains. Utilization of agricultural by-products as low-cost substrates for microbial enzyme production resulted in an economical and promising process. The pectinolytic enzyme activities of two Aspergillus sojae strains were compared to a known producer, Aspergillus niger IMI 91881, and to A. sojae ATCC 20235, which was re-classified as Aspergillus oryzae. Evaluation of polymethylgalacturonase and polygalacturonase activity was performed as well as exo- vs. endo-enzyme activity in the crude pectinase enzyme-complex of the mentioned strains. Furthermore, a plate diffusion assay was applied to determine the presence and action of proteases in the crude extracts. A. sojae ATCC 20235 with highest polymethylgalacturonase activity and highest polygalacturonase activity both exo- and endo-enzyme activity, is a promising candidate for industrial pectinase production, a group of enzymes with high commercial value, in solid-state fermentation processes. Beside the enzymatic assays a protein profile of each strain is given by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and in addition species-specific zymograms for pectinolytic enzymes were observed, revealing the differences in protein pattern of the A. sojae strains to the re-classified A. oryzae. (C) 2011 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.