Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacteria-based Production Method Patented

Date:
April 23, 2005
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Look on a package of gum and you'll probably notice the word mannitol. Scientifically described as a sugar alcohol, mannitol is a minty-tasting ingredient found in many foods and boasts fewer calories than table sugar. Now, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) obtained a patent (US 6,855,526, B2) on a method that weds nature with modern technology.

Chemist Badal Saha (left) discusses control parameters of mannitol production by fermentation with technician Greg Kennedy (center) and student aide Ohiole Ake.
Credit: Photo by Scott Bauer

Look on a package of gum and you'll probably notice the word mannitol. Scientifically described as a sugar alcohol, mannitol is a minty-tasting ingredient found in many foods and boasts fewer calories than table sugar.

Though made by some plants and algae, mannitol is commercially produced by chemical means. In February, however, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) obtained a patent (US 6,855,526, B2) on a method that weds nature with modern technology. ARS chemist Badal Saha calls his method "biobased" because it involves feeding high-fructose corn syrup to the bacterial species Lactobacillus intermedius in a deep-tank fermentor. There, over several hours' time, the bacteria convert 72 percent of the syrup into mannitol.

Mannitol, to L. intermedius, is little more than a metabolic waste product. But to food processors, mannitol is a valuable bodying agent, preservative and diabetic-friendly sweetener, according to Saha, with the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research at Peoria, Ill.

Mannitol also has pharmaceutical and medical uses, such as an osmotic diuretic and a hypertension treatment. Manufacturers traditionally produce mannitol by subjecting a 50-50 mixture of fructose and glucose to a nickel catalyst and high-pressure hydrogenation. Besides producing chemical wastes, the process is time-consuming and converts only 25 percent of these sugars to mannitol, sold for around $3.25 a pound.

Saha's Lactobacillus bacterium uses powerful enzymes to do this far more efficiently--and not just with fructose. In Saha's trials at the ARS center's Fermentation Biotechnology Research Unit, the bacterium also produced mannitol from sucrose and other sugars.

Since 2002, Saha has collaborated with zuChem, Inc., of Chicago, Ill., to scale-up and refine the approach under a cooperative research and development agreement. Last fall, zuChem successfully petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to approve mannitol produced by microbial fermentation. Saha's research reflects the ARS center's overarching mission of creating new, value-added markets for agricultural commodities, especially from corn and soybeans.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Bacteria-based Production Method Patented." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421235139.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2005, April 23). Bacteria-based Production Method Patented. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421235139.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Bacteria-based Production Method Patented." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421235139.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins