Utilisation of inulin-containing waste in industrial fermentations to produce biofuels and bio-based chemicals

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 ?-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 utilise inulin as its carbon and energy source directly, a microorganism requires an extracellular inulinase to hydrolyse the glycosidic bonds to release fermentable monosaccharides. Inulinase is produced by many microorganisms, including species of Aspergillus, Kluyveromyces, Penicillium, and Pseudomonas. The authors 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.

Authors: Hughes SR, Qureshi N, López-Núñez JC, Jones MA, Jarodsky JM, Galindo-Leva LÁ, Lindquist MR. ;Full Source: World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology. 2017 Apr;33(4):78. doi: 10.1007/s11274-017-2241-6. Epub 2017 Mar 24. ;