Short chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) are prebiotics used as a food supplement to improve dietary health in humans and animals. FOS are also used in the food industry as low-calorie sweeteners and added to food products to improve their organoleptic properties.

Global demand for FOS is growing and this invention modifies B- fructofuranosidase enzymes to enhance their performance in producing FOS under industrial conditions.

The invention modifies B-fructofuranosidases for improved enzyme activity, relative to the parent enzyme.

An existing beta-fructofuranosidase (fopA) was modified. Comparison of the modified enzyme with the "wild-type" showed a 26% reduction in the time required to convert a given amount of sucrose into scFOS of a composition resembling that of a commercial scFOS product. Experimental data also show that the enzyme has improved thermostability. Thus a given amount of enzyme can produce scFOS in a shorter time or, for a given batch time, less enzyme is required to achieve the same results.

Target Industries

  1. Producers of scFOS and enzymes.
  2. Companies employing scFOS as nutraceutical supplements in pharmaceutical formulations, dairy products, animal feeds.
  3. The health food industry.

Unique Features/Benefits

  1. Reduction in run times for batch production of scFOS.
  2. Reduction in enzyme and scFOS production costs.
  3. Improved thermolability of the existing fopA enzyme.
  4. Improved commercial viability of the fopA enzyme.

Intellectual Property Protection

Opportunity type

Technology Readiness Level