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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336054

Research Project: New Biobased Products and Improved Biochemical Processes for the Biorefining Industry

Location: Renewable Product Technology Research

Title: Utilization of inulin-containing waste in industrial fermentations to produce biofuels and bio-based chemicals

item Hughes, Stephen
item Qureshi, Nasib
item JONES, MARJORIE - Illinois State University
item JARODSKY, JOSHUA - Illinois State University
item GALINDO-LEVA, LUZ - Cenicafe
item Lindquist, Mitchell

Submitted to: World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2017
Publication Date: 3/24/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Hughes, S.R., Qureshi, N., Lopez-Nunez, J., Jones, M.A., Jarodsky, J.M., Galindo-Leva, L.A., Lindquist, M.R. 2017. Utilization of inulin-containing waste in industrial fermentations to produce biofuels and bio-based chemicals. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 33(4):78. doi:10.1007/s11274-017-2241-6.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Inulins are polysaccharides that belong to an important class of carbohydrates known as fructans and are used by many plants as a means of storing energy. Inulins contain 20 to several thousand fructose units joined by ß-2,1 glycosidic bonds, typically with a terminal glucose unit. Plants with high concentrations of inulin include: agave, asparagus, coffee, chicory, dahlia, dandelion, garlic, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, onion, wild yam, and yacón. To utilize inulin as its carbon and energy source directly, a microorganism requires an extracellular inulinase to hydrolyze the glycosidic bonds to release fermentable monosaccharides. Inulinase is produced by many microorganisms, including species of Aspergillus, Kluyveromyces, Penicillium, and Pseudomonas. We review various inulinase-producing microorganisms and inulin feedstocks with potential for industrial application as well as biotechnological efforts underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from processing inulin-containing crops. A multi-stage biorefinery concept is proposed to convert cellulosic and inulin-containing waste produced at crop processing operations to valuable biofuels and bioproducts using Kluyveromyces marxianus, Yarrowia lipolytica, Rhodotorula glutinis, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as well as thermochemical treatments.