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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: VALUABLE POLYSACCHARIDE-BASED PRODUCTS FROM SUGAR BEET PULP AND CITRUS PEEL
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
The citrus juice and beet sugar industries are critical components of the U.S. rural economy which are under stress due to world market competition. An executive of the Florida Citrus Processors Association stated that finding new ways to profitably utilize the enormous amount of low valued byproducts from fruit processing was critical for the future profitability of the industry. Total economic impacts associated with the Florida citrus industry for 2001 were estimated at $9.13 billion in industry output, $4.18 billion in value added, and 89,700 jobs. Economic activity by the beet sugar industry is estimated at $260 billion. Enormous quantities of residues are generated from U.S. beet sugar and citrus juice processing that are prepared and sold as low value animal feed or must be disposed with added expense. Typically the U.S. citrus juice industry produces about 1.4 million tons of pulp and meal per year, while the U.S. beet sugar industry generates about 1.6 million tons of dry pulp annually. It is now recognized that finding new ways to profitably utilize the enormous amount of low valued by-products from sugar beet and citrus processing is critical for the future profitability of both industries. Preparation of beet or citrus pulp as animal feed is an economic means for its disposal, providing recovery of some of the processing costs required to reduce the water content following sucrose or juice extraction. This is an energy-intensive process and a major cost to sugar beet factories and juice processing plants. This processing cost is recovered by selling it as animal feed, but the value averages about $100/ton. Although low in value, this market is critical for the economics of beet sugar production. About half of beet pulp is sold domestically for use as animal feed; the remainder is exported to Japan and Europe. This export market is threatened with the introduction of GM-beet, since pulp from GM plants may be unacceptable by these customers. Further erosion of the feed market is anticipated with increased availability of Distiller's Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) from expanding domestic bioethanol production. Cell wall polysaccharides represent the major component of citrus and beet pulp. These polysaccharides, cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin, represent an enormous reservoir of untapped value-added products if they can be developed and marketed. Food grade pectin alone sells for about $12,000 - $16,000 per ton. It is estimated that 150,000 to 250,000 dry tons of pectin could be obtained from citrus residue and 400,000 to 625,000 dry tons of pectin could be obtained from the residue of sugar beet processing. However, only the highest quality pectin is used for the food market, and this market is relatively small and mature. The U.S. market consumes about 8 million pounds annually. Despite the abundance of feedstocks, pectin is no longer produced domestically, but is imported from foreign factories. Little or no work has been reported in the U.S. on using cellulose and hemicellulose from sugar beets or citrus fruit for the fabrication of value-added products. Essential to utilization of sugar beet and citrus hemicellulose and cellulose is their extraction and separation with their desirable functional properties intact or enhanced. A diverse range of new products in both food and non-food areas will be required to develop a broad market for these polysaccharides. It is critically necessary that the finished value-added products have unique functionalities and be competitive in cost with comparable environmentally non-sustainable products in the marketplace. During plant growth and development, cell wall polysaccharides undergo extensive chemical modifications, resulting in unique chemical, physical, structural and functional properties. These modifications are necessary for the ripening process of fruit or in the case of storage roots, to enhance the cell wall as a physical barrier for protecting accumulated nutrients such as sucrose from pests and pathogens. Such structural modifications are mediated by endogenous enzymes. Survey of the scientific literature reveals no information on cell wall polysaccharide-modifying enzymes in sugar beet. These enzymes will be isolated to understand the function of cell wall polysaccharides and to determine if their unique properties can be utilized to design new value-added bioproducts from sugar beet pulp. This research addresses the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
FY 2005 1a. Identify citrus PME isozymes using peptide mass fingerprinting with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. 2a. Continue ongoing isolation and characterization of pectin, hemicellulose and cellulose from sugar beets and citrus to determine potential for value-added products. 3a. Initiate studies on synthesis, characterization and fabrication of plant polysaccharides (PPS) derived matrices for colon-specific drug delivery, personal care and household applications. 3b.Determine and develop strategies to fix potential problems related to toxicity and cost of PPS derived matrices from sugar beet and citrus processing 4a. Initiate experiments to prepare polysaccharide-polyaldehyde in order to synthesize polysaccharide based composites with other polymers. 4b. Complete ongoing post extrusion studies on PVOH/Pectin composites to determine potential for making biobased products. 5a. Conduct in vitro prebiotic property and carbohydrate structural analysis of orange peel oligosaccharides to evaluate their potential as functional feed ingredients. FY 2006 1a. Prepare sugar beet root extracts and screen esterase activity profiles. 2a. Complete ongoing isolation and characterization of pectin, hemicellulose and cellulose from sugar beets and citrus to determine potential for value-added products. 3a. Evaluate the efficacy of PPS derived matrices in colon-specific drug delivery, personal care and household applications. 3b. Initiate experiments of fabricating PPS into porous structures for tissue repair, environmentally sensitive hydrogels for analytical applications. 3c. Identify and develop strategies to fix potential problems related to physical and biological activity of PPS derived porous structures and smart hydrogels for biomedical and analytical applications. 4a. Scale-up and complete experiments to prepare polysaccharide-polyaldehyde in order to synthesize polysaccharide based composites with other polymers. 4b. Initiate reactive extrusion-molding composites of polysaccharide with other polymers to form engineering materials. 4c. Initiate studies on biaxial pectin/ PVOH films to develop biodegradable packaging materials. 5a. Conduct in vitro prebiotic property and carbohydrate structural analysis of sugar beet pectic oligosaccharides to evaluate their potential as functional feed ingredients.

FY 2007 1a. Evaluate sugar beet root protein fractions by mass spectrometry to identify at least one polysaccharide modifying enzyme. 2a. Initiate scale up to produce pectin, hemicellulose and cellulose for testing as potential value added product. Complete ongoing isolation and characterization of hemicellulose and cellulose from citrus. 3a. Continue to evaluate the efficacy of PPS derived matrices in colon-specific drug delivery, personal care and household applications. 3b. Continue research to fabricate porous structures of PPS for use in tissue repair and environmentally sensitive hydrogels for analytical applications. 3c. Continue to identify and develop strategies to fix potential problems related to physical and biological activity of PPS derived porous structures and smart hydrogels for biomedical and analytical applications. 3d. Evaluate the efficacy of PPS derived porous structures in biomedical and analytical applications. 4a. Complete reactive extrusion-molding composites of polysaccharide with other polymers to form engineering materials. Fully met. 4b. Continue the study on porous composite materials by extrusion-injection molding method for engineering applications. 4c. Complete biaxial studies and transfer technology on pectin/ PVOH films to develop biodegradable packaging materials. 5a. Scale up production of pectic oligosaccharides, conduct prebiotic in vitro analysis and carbohydrate composition analysis. FY 2008 1a. Generate enzyme-modified polysaccharides for structural/functional/biological activity evaluation. 2a. Complete scale up and initiate measurement of functional properties of the value added products; pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose to determine their potential as value added products. 3a. Complete the study on synthesis, characterization and fabrication of PPS derived matrices for colon-specific drug delivery, personal care and household applications. 3b. Continue to fabricate PPS into porous structures for tissue repair, environmentally sensitive hydrogels for analytical applications 3c. Continue to identify and develop strategies to fix potential problems related to physical and biological activity of PPS derived porous structures and smart hydrogels for biomedical and analytical applications. 3d. Evaluate the efficacy of PPS derived smart hydrogels in biomedical and analytical applications. 4a. Complete reactive extrusion-molding composites of polysaccharide with other polymers to form engineering materials 4b. Continue the study on porous composite materials by extrusion-injection molding method for engineering applications 5a. Conduct swine feeding trial with citrus pulp pellets and pectic oligosaccharides to determine their in vivo prebiotic properties and potential as functional feed ingredients. Conduct isolation, production, structural analysis, and in-vitro prebiotic evaluation of hemicellulosic and cellulosic oligosaccharides to evaluate their potential as high-valued functional feed ingredients.

FY 2009 1a. Complete purification and characterization of at least one cell wall modifying enzyme (pectin esterase) from sugar beets. 1b. Complete evaluation of alternative enzymes useful for cell wall polysaccharide modification from systems such as citrus, corn/barley, and/or microbial sources. 2a. Complete measurement of functional properties and disseminate information for the purpose of transferring technology. 3a. Complete the study on PPS derived porous structures and smart hydrogels for biomedical and analytical applications. 4a. Complete the synthesis and evaluation of porous composite materials by extrusion-injection molding method as engineering materials. 5a. Complete evaluation of sugar beet and orange peel pectic oligosaccharides as potential functional feed ingredients. 5b. Complete cost analysis for production of most promising prebiotic oligosaccharides.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
Predictive assay for pectin functional quality. Previously, it has been difficult to predict the gelling quality of pectin based on its physical or fine structure. New knowledge of the molecular structure, physical properties and end use functionality of the cell wall polysaccharide, pectin was developed using atomic force microscopy. Orange pectin forms network structures in pure water above 13 µg/mL and these networks dissociate into rods, segmented rods, kinked rods, branched structures and dense spherical structures at 6 µg/mL. This finding was unequivocal evidence supporting the hypothesis that pectin in pure water forms fluid network structures which are precursors to the network structures formed in jams and jellies. This could provide a microscopic method for predicting the quality of pectin gels in various food and biobased product applications. This research addresses new product technology and new uses for agricultural by-product problem areas in the Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products national program (306) action plan.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
None.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None.


4d.Progress report.
1935-41000-068-01T: This report serves to document CRADA research conducted between ARS and ISTO Technologies (St. Louis, MO). Novel biomembranes were developed by co-extruding pectin or hyaluronic acid with polylactic acid or poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid). The membranes have excellent biological and mechanical properties as well as controllable degradability. Discussion concerning extending the CRADA for another year is underway. A joint patent application is in preparation. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

1935-41000-068-02T: This report serves to document CRADA research conducted between ARS and CP-Kelco. The CRADA was established in January 2006 and provides funding for a Postdoctoral and Visiting Scientist. The objective of the research is to prepare and characterize an enzyme isolated from Florida citrus peel that modifies the structure and functional properties of pectin. The CRADA cooperator will evaluate the enzyme for its utility for manufacturing modified pectin. Staff have been hired and research is underway. Preliminary quantities of the purified enzyme have been delivered to the company. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
New prebiotics in orange peel as healthy food and feed ingredients. To increase the use of U.S. orange peels, ARS scientists in Wyndmoor, PA in collaboration with Drs. Robert Rastall and Glenn Gibson at the University of Reading, UK, demonstrated that pectin fragments from orange peel are "prebiotics" that have health promoting effects in animals and humans. Orange peel pectic prebiotics caused selective fermentation by health beneficial gut bacteria while limiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria. These health promoting bacteria have been reported as important in the prevention of ulcerative colitis and colon cancer. If orange peel pectic oligosaccharides can be commercialized as a prebiotic product, they may be able to be used as a functional food and feed ingredient with multiple health promoting roles. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

Discovered cell wall enzyme from citrus fruit with ability to "naturally" modify the properties of pectin. Using "state of the art" analytical techniques, ARS scientists in Wyndmoor, PA, in collaboration with those in Winter Haven, FL, discovered a novel citrus enzyme that can modify the properties of pectin. Modifying pectin by this "natural" technique has the potential of expanding the demand for pectin, a by-product of citrus and sugarbeet processing, which will improve competitiveness of a U.S. pectin manufacturer interested in commercializing the enzyme. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

Produced new biodegradable polymeric composites containing sugar beet pulp. Currently there is a demand for biodegradable, inexpensive, light weight construction materials. ARS scientists in Wyndmoor, PA have used sugar beet pulp, a by-product from beet sugar processing, to develop new composites with poly(lactic acid). The composites are fully biodegradable and have similar tensile properties to pure polylactic acid but are less expensive. This study expands the uses of sugarbeet pulp into bioplastics markets. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

Developed a mild rapid extraction of pectin from sugarbeets. To add value to sugarbeet pulp, ARS scientists in Wyndmoor, PA developed a relatively low temperature, rapid extraction of pectin from sugarbeet pulp. Previously, sugarbeet pulp had to be heated for an hour or longer to obtain significant yields of pectin, a value added polysaccharide which is useful as a biodegradable film former, coating or emulsifying agent. The new extraction method lowers heating times to as little as 3 minutes and can provide pectins with a range of properties. Adoption of this method has the potential to lower the cost of producing sugarbeet pectin and increase the range of materials into which it may be incorporated and thus increase use of sugarbeet pulp as a value added material. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes. New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.

New plant polysaccharide-based films. To add value to citrus peels, ARS scientists in Wyndmoor, PA in collaboration with ARS scientists in Peoria Illinois, developed an extrusion process for fabricating blown or extruded films from Pectin/Starch/poly(vinyl alcohol) pellets. Previously these types of films had been fabricated by solution casting. The adoption of the newly developed technology is potentially less costly and more rapid than current solution casting technology. Unlike solution casting technology most plastic manufacturers use extrusion technology to manufacture their products. Thus, this technology has the potential to increase the utilization of citrus peels in value added products. This research supports the ARS National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products Action Plan Component 2, New Processes, New Uses and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Collaboration on the characterization of hydrocolloids was discussed with a representative from a flavor producer. Information on sugarbeet research was provided to a representative from the Montana Department of Agriculture. Pectin characterization information was provided to a major soft drink manufacturer. Presented an invited lecture entitled "Characterization, Extraction and Characterization of Pectin" at the China Agriculture University, Beijing China and exchanged information with scientists at a pectin manufacturing company in China.

Provided information to scientists at Rutgers University on the chemical modification of plant polysaccharides for the fabrication of biomedical products. This information will be the basis for an NSF Promise For Innovation grant proposal. Information on the concept and technology for preparation of biodegradable biomedical membranes was provided to a biomedical products company. Discussion concerning extending the CRADA for another year is underway. A joint patent application is in preparation.

Provided information on the prebiotic activity of orange peel pectic oligosaccharides to a nutraceutical company and a pectin producer. Analyzed the modified citrus pectin produced by two companies. A Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement is under development with one of these companies.

An invention disclosure was approved by the ARS Biotechnology Patent Committee on the discovery of a citrus enzyme with potential utility for commercial processing of pectin. Information related to this was transferred through a Confidentiality Agreement with a major food hydrocolloids business. A CRADA was subsequently signed providing funding to produce the enzyme and evaluate its commercial utility in pectin manufacture.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Kerr, L. Sugarbeet Pulp Offers Potential for Value Added Products. Ag Roundup, November 06, 2005.

Scientist presented a seminar at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute on protein chemistry and applied enzymology of citrus pectin methylesterases.


Review Publications
Manderson, K., Pinart, M., Tuohy, K.M., Grace, W.E., Hotchkiss, A.T., Widmer, W.W., Yadav, M.P., Gibson, G.R., Rastall, R.A. 2005. In vitro determination of the prebiotic properties of oligosaccharides derived from an orange juice manufacture byproduct stream. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 71:8383-8389.

Yoo, S., Fishman, M.L., Hotchkiss, A.T., Lee, H. 2005. Viscometric behaviors of high-methoxy and low-methoxy pectin solutions. Food Hydrocolloids Journal. 20:p.62-67.

Solaiman, D., Ashby, R.D., Hotchkiss, A.T., Foglia, T.A. 2006. Biosynthesis of medium-chain-length poly(hydroxyalkanoates) from soy molasses. Biotechnology Letters. 28:157-162.

Liu, L.S., Fishman, M.L., Hicks, K.B., Liu, C. 2005. Biodegradable composites from sugar beet pulp and poly (lactic acid). Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 53(23)p. 9017-9022.

Chen, G., Smith, E., Qin, F., Liu, L.S. 2006. Time-resolved luminesence screening of antibiotics in tissue matrices without centrifugation and filtration. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 54:3225-3230.

Savary, B.J., Nunez, A., Cameron, R.G. 2005. Biochemical and chemical diversity of pectin methylesterases: specific isoform identification by mass spectrometry. Abstract. Pacifichem 2005, International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin. Pectin Chemistry #221.

Cameron, R.G., Savary, B.J. 2005. Progress in determining pectin methylesterase mode of action and structural mapping of modified pectin. Subtropical Technology Conference Proceedings. 56:14.

Fishman, M.L., Cooke, P.H., Chau, H.K., Coffin, D.R., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2006.Pectin: Networks, Clusters, and Molecules. In "Advances in Biopolymers: Molecules, Clusters, Networks and Interactions" M. L. Fishman, L. Wicker, and P. X. Qi (Eds.). ACS Symposiuim Series 935, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp.201-214.

Liu, L.S., Tunick, M.H., Fishman, M.L., Hicks, K.B., Cooke, P.H., Coffin, D. R. 2006. Pectin based networks for non-food applications. In Advances in Biopolymers: Molecules, Clusters, Networks and Interactions, M. L. Fishman, L. Wicker, and P. X. Qi (Eds.) ACS Symposium Series 935, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, USA. pp 272-283.

Fishman, M.L., Chau, H.K., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2005. Flash extraction of sugar beet pectin. Meeting Abstract, Pacifichem, International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. Honolulu, Hawaii, December 15-20, AGRO 44.

Hotchkiss, A.T., Liu, L.S., Call, J.E., Cooke, P.H., Rastall, R. 2005.Synbiotic matrices derived from pectin. Abstract. Pacifichem, International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. Honolulu, Hawaii, December 15-20, MACR 1115.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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