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.

Related Articles


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 March 27, 2015 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 March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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