Background: Biotechnologically produced microbial lipids are of interest as potential alternatives for crude and plant oils. Their lipid profile is similar to plant oils and can therefore be a substitute for the production of biofuels, additives for food and cosmetics industry as well as building blocks for oleochemicals. Commercial microbial lipids production, however, is still not profitable and research on process optimization and cost reduction is required. This study reports on the process optimization using glucose or xylose with the unconventional oleaginous yeast Saitozyma podzolica DSM 27192 aiming to reduce the applied carbon source amount without sacrificing lipid productivity. Results: By optimizing the process parameters temperature and pH, lipid productivity was enhanced by 40%. Thereupon, by establishing a two-phase strategy with an initial batch phase and a subsequent fed-batch phase for lipid production in which a constant sugar concentration of about 10 g/L was maintained, resulted in saving of ~ 41% of total glucose and ~ 26% of total xylose. By performing the automated continuous sugar feed the total sugar uptake was improved to ~ 91% for glucose and ~ 92% for xylose and thus, prevented waste of unused carbon source in the cultivation medium. ... mehrIn addition, reduced glucose cultivation resulted in to 28% higher cell growth and 19% increase of lipid titer. By using xylose, the by-product xylonic acid was identified for the first time as by-product of S. podzolica. Conclusions: These findings provide a broad view of different cultivation process strategies with subsequent comparison and evaluation for lipid production with S. podzolica. Additionally, new biotechnological characteristics of this yeast were highlighted regarding the ability to produce valuable organic acids from sustainable and renewable sugars.