Development of improved biocatalysts for D-allulose production utilizing the low-cost agro-industrial residues

Student of Center Of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing(CIAB) Punjab, Satya Narayan Patel won the award for research work of Development of improved biocatalysts for D-allulose production utilizing the low-cost agro-industrial residues. They carried their project work under the guidance of Dr Sudhir P. Singh.

D-allulose (D-psicose) is a C3 epimer of D-fructose. It is a rare sugar having 70% of the relative sweetness of table sugar. It exerts only 0.3% calories of table sugar. Consumption of this sugar is beneficial to human health in several ways i.e. anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, hypoglycemic, anti-dyslipidemic, and neuro-protective effects. It improves the texture of food materials with pleasant flavour through the Maillard reaction. The team has developed a novel enzyme- systems for the biosynthesis of D-allulose from D-fructose. A fusion of yeast Smt3 at the N-terminus of Agrobacterium tumefaciens D-allulose 3-epimerase improved thermal tolerance of this enzyme by several folds. This modified chimeric protein was covalently attached to the magnetic nanoparticles. This nanoparticle-enzyme conjugation system was demonstrated to be more thermo-stable and recyclable. Recently, we have discovered a novel gene encoding D-allulose 3- epimerase enzyme from the metagenomic information of a thermal aquatic habitat of extreme temperature. The protein sequence of this novel enzyme exhibits significant dissimilarity with any known protein in the public databases. This novel biocatalyst shows excessive thermal stability at 50-60 °C temperature, which is considerably higher than any D-allulose 3-epimerase enzyme known till date. These bio-catalytic systems have been used to bioprocess several agro-industrial wastes (e.g. fruit pomace, cabbage waste, banana pseudostem, and cane molasses) for the transformation of in-situ D-fructose into D-allulose.

The Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award to Satya Narayan Patel, Center Of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing(CIAB) Punjab at the GYTI 2019 Awards function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on July 06, 2019.

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