Fractionation process for the protective isolation of ergosterol and trehalose from microbial biomass

Ossi Pastinen, Antti Nyyssölä, Ville Pihlajaniemi, Mika Henrikki Sipponen (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    A new process is described for the two phase extraction of ergosterol and trehalose from microbial biomass. Baker's yeast was used as a model organism to develop the method, which was then applied for extracting 13 oleaginous microbes. Major findings of the study were that the ergosterol content was not dependent on intracellular oil content and that 1-butanol and alkaline pH were needed to protect ergosterol. Saponification for 3–4 h at 85–100 °C followed by extraction of the reaction mixture with toluene gave the maximal ergosterol yield. Trehalose was stable at this temperature and remained in water solution, but the maximal yield was obtained after a shorter reaction time at lower alkalinity. Although trehalose alone is stable at alkaline pH, extraction yields of trehalose from yeast decreased with increasing alkalinity. This finding led us to propose a two-step process in which trehalose is separated in the first step and ergosterol in the second. The possibility to apply this method to fractionate oleaginous microbes in process scale is discussed from technical viewpoints.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-223
    JournalProcess Biochemistry
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • ergosterol trehalose
    • extraction
    • Fractionation
    • Microbial oil
    • yeast


    Dive into the research topics of 'Fractionation process for the protective isolation of ergosterol and trehalose from microbial biomass'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this