Enzymatic Synthesis of a Novel Bioprotectant

ARS has engineered an enzyme to produce high yields of a rare sugar, called isomelezitose. Similar types of sugars, such as trehalose, are known to have bioprotective properties that minimize damage to proteins from heat, freezing, or drying; and are therefore extremely important to the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and food industries. Isomelezitose was originally found in trace amounts in honey, but efforts to produce this compound were hampered by inefficient synthesis methods. This technology allows this valuable sugar to be produced in commercial quantities.

Benefits
• High product yield from a simple enzymatic conversion inexpensive sugars
• Demonstrated ability to maintain bacterial viability when added to cultures during drying

Applications
• Improved long-term stability of foods, drugs, vaccines, cells and bacterial cultures
• Potential prebiotic food ingredient for improved intestinal health
• Low-calorie, sweetener that does not promote tooth decay

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Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
19.16
Lab Representatives
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