Application of dextranases in sugarcane factory: Overcoming practical problems

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Dextranases only have a small market and low volume sales compared to many other industrial enzymes. Consequently, research and development efforts to engineer properties of dextranases to specific conditions of industrial processes have not occurred and are not expected soon. This book chapter highlights the difficulties associated with the practical application of dextranases, that are sometimes applied to hydrolyze dextran in sugar manufacture when bacterial deterioration of sugarcane or sugarbeet has occurred. Less than optimum application existed because of confusion about where to add the dextranase in the factory/refinery and which commercial dextranase to use. The wide variation in activity of commercially available dextranases in the U.S., and a standardized titration method to measure activities at the factory are discussed. Optimization by applying “concentrated” dextranase as a working solution to heated juice is described. Promising short-term technologies to further improve industrial dextranase applications are discussed, as well as the long-term outlook.

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