Biotechnological potential of inulin for bioprocesses

Bioresour Technol. 2011 Mar;102(6):4295-303. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.12.086. Epub 2010 Dec 29.


Inulin consists of linear chains of β-2,1-linked D-fructofuranose molecules terminated by a glucose residue through a sucrose-type linkage at the reducing end. In this review article, inulin and its applications in bioprocesses are overviewed. The tubers of many plants, such as Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, dahlia, and yacon contain a large amount of inulin. Inulin can be actively hydrolyzed by microbial inulinases to produce fructose, glucose and inulooligosaccharides (IOS). The fructose and glucose formed can be further transformed into ethanol, single-cell protein, single cell oil and other useful products by different microorganisms. IOS formed have many functions. Therefore, inulin can be widely used in food, feed, pharmaceutical, chemical and biofuels industries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels / analysis
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Citric Acid / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Inulin / biosynthesis*
  • Plants / metabolism


  • Biofuels
  • Dietary Proteins
  • single cell proteins
  • Citric Acid
  • Inulin