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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Application of dextranases in sugarcane factory: overcoming practical problems

item Eggleston, Gillian
item Monge, Adrian
item Montes, Belisario
item Stewart, David

Submitted to: Sugar Tech
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2009
Publication Date: 7/15/2009
Publication URL:
Citation: Eggleston, G., Monge, A., Montes, B., Stewart, D. 2009. Application of dextranases in sugarcane factory: overcoming practical problems. Sugar Tech. 11(2):135-141.

Interpretive Summary: This paper reviews practical problems frequently faced when enzymes (compounds that speed-up a reaction) are added to industrial processes. This is done by highlighting the application of dextranases (enzymes that break down dextran, an unwanted large chain sugar) in the U.S. sugar industry. Practical application of enzymes to usually harsh industrial process conditions is still often problematic, and ways to improve the optimization of dextranase are described. These include measuring the activity of destranases at the factory to economically compare different commercial enzymes, applying the enzymes as a working solution prepared at the factory with water, and heating sugarcane juice. Finally, the short and long-term outlooks are discussed.

Technical Abstract: Dextranases only have a small market and low volume sales compared to many other industrial enzymes. Consequently, research and development efforts to engineer tailormade properties of destranases to specific conditions of industrial processes have not occurred and are not expected soon. This book chapter highlights the difficulties associated with the practical application of dextranases that are sometimes applied to break down dextran polysaccharide in sugar manufacture when bacterial deterioration of sugarcane or sugarbeet has occurred. Application sub-optimization existed because of misinformation about where to add the destranase in the factory/refinery and which commercial dextranase to use. The wide variation in activities of commercially available dextransases in the U.S., and a standardized titration method to measure activities at the factory are discussed. Optimization by applying "concentrated" dextranases as temporary working solutions to heated juice is described. Promising short-term technologies to further improve industrial dextranase applications are discussed, as well as the long-term outlook.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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