We have developed a sustainable three-stage process for the revaluation of cheese whey permeate into D-tagatose, a rare sugar with functional properties used as sweetener. The experimental conditions (pH, temperature, cofactors, etc.) for each step were independently optimized. In the first step, concentrated whey containing 180–200 g/L of lactose was fully hydrolyzed by β-galactosidase from Bifidobacterium bifidum (Saphera®) in 3 h at 45 °C. Secondly, glucose was selectively removed by treatment with Pichia pastoris cells for 3 h at 30 °C. The best results were obtained with 350 mg of cells (previously grown for 16 h) per mL of solution. Finally, L-arabinose isomerase US100 from Bacillus stearothermophilus was employed to isomerize D-galactose into D-tagatose at pH 7.5 and 65 °C, in presence of 0.5 mM MnSO4. After 7 h, the concentration of D-tagatose was approximately 30 g/L (33.3% yield, referred to the initial D-galactose present in whey). The proposed integrated process takes place under mild conditions (neutral pH, moderate temperatures) in a short time (13 h), yielding a glucose-free syrup containing D-tagatose and galactose in a ratio 1:2.
Ref.:"A Three-Step Process for the Bioconversion of Whey Permeate into a Glucose-Free D-Tagatose Syrup" by Fadia V. Cervantes ,Sawssan Neifar ,Zoran Merdzo ,Javier Viña-Gonzalez ,Lucia Fernandez-Arrojo ,Antonio O. Ballesteros ,Maria Fernandez-Lobato ,Samir Bejar and Francisco J. Plou.Catalysts 2020, 10(6), 647 https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10060647