Potential applications of carbohydrases immobilization in the food industry

Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jan 11;14(1):1335-69. doi: 10.3390/ijms14011335.


Carbohydrases find a wide application in industrial processes and products, mainly in the food industry. With these enzymes, it is possible to obtain different types of sugar syrups (viz. glucose, fructose and inverted sugar syrups), prebiotics (viz. galactooligossacharides and fructooligossacharides) and isomaltulose, which is an interesting sweetener substitute for sucrose to improve the sensory properties of juices and wines and to reduce lactose in milk. The most important carbohydrases to accomplish these goals are of microbial origin and include amylases (α-amylases and glucoamylases), invertases, inulinases, galactosidases, glucosidases, fructosyltransferases, pectinases and glucosyltransferases. Yet, for all these processes to be cost-effective for industrial application, a very efficient, simple and cheap immobilization technique is required. Immobilization techniques can involve adsorption, entrapment or covalent bonding of the enzyme into an insoluble support, or carrier-free methods, usually based on the formation of cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs). They include a broad variety of supports, such as magnetic materials, gums, gels, synthetic polymers and ionic resins. All these techniques present advantages and disadvantages and several parameters must be considered. In this work, the most recent and important studies on the immobilization of carbohydrases with potential application in the food industry are reviewed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Beverages
  • Dairy Products
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / metabolism*
  • Food Industry / methods*
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Industrial Microbiology / methods*
  • Prebiotics
  • Starch / metabolism


  • Enzymes, Immobilized
  • Prebiotics
  • Starch
  • Glycoside Hydrolases
  • carbohydrase