Conversion of citric pectin into D-galacturonic acid with high substrate loading using a fermented solid with pectinolytic activity

Daniele Stock Leh, Alessandra Biz, D.H.F. de Paula, Peter Richard, Alan Guilherme Gonçalves, Miguel Daniel Noseda, David Alexander Mitchell, Nadia Kriegera

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Citrus pulp is a waste product of orange juice processing. Pectin can be extracted from this pulp and used in the food industry. However, citrus pulp is produced in such large amounts that the pectin it contains is far in excess of the current world pectin market. An alternative strategy would be to hydrolyze this excess pectin to liberate D-galacturonic acid (D-galA), which can then be converted into several platform chemicals. We report, for the first time, the hydrolysis of pectin by the direct addition of “pectinolytic fermented solids”. These solids were produced by solid-state fermentation of a 30:70 mixture, by dry mass, of ground sugarcane bagasse and orange peels, using a strain of Aspergillus oryzae isolated from rotting passion fruit peels. With the addition of this lyophilized fermented solid to a 10% w v −1 pectin solution, we obtained 247 mmol L −1 of D-galA in the hydrolysate, this being the highest D-galA concentration yet reported. Since the direct addition of fermented solid to the reaction mixture avoids the need for extraction and recovery steps, our process has potential to provide low cost of pectinases for use in citrus-waste biorefineries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalBiocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • solid-state fermentation
  • D-galacturonic acid
  • pectinolytic enzymes
  • orange bagasse
  • Aspergillus oryzae
  • citrus-waste biorefineries

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