Transformation of sugarcane molasses into fructooligosaccharides with enhanced prebiotic activity using whole-cell biocatalysts from Aureobasidium pullulans FRR 5284 and an invertase-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae 1403-7A

Most Sheauly Khatun, Morteza Hassanpour, Solange I. Mussatto, Mark D. Harrison, Robert E. Speight, Ian M. O’Hara, Zhanying Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) can be used as feed prebiotics, but are limited by high production costs. In this study, low-cost sugarcane molasses was used to produce whole-cell biocatalysts containing transfructosylating enzymes by Aureobasidium pullulans FRR 5284, followed by FOS production from molasses using the whole-cells of A. pullulansA. pullulans in molasses-based medium produced cells and broth with a total transfructosylating activity of 123.6 U/mL compared to 61.0 and 85.8 U/mL in synthetic molasses-based and sucrose-based media, respectively. It was found that inclusion of glucose in sucrose medium reduced both transfructosylating and hydrolytic activities of the produced cells and broth. With the use of pure glucose medium, cells and broth had very low levels of transfructosylating activities and hydrolytic activities were not detected. These results indicated that A. pullulans FRR 5284 produced both constitutive and inducible enzymes in sucrose-rich media, such as molasses while it only produced constitutive enzymes in the glucose media. Furthermore, treatment of FOS solutions generated from sucrose-rich solutions using an invertase-deficient Saccharomyces yeast converted glucose to ethanol and acetic acid and improved FOS content in total sugars by 20–30%. Treated FOS derived from molasses improved the in vitro growth of nine probiotic strains by 9–63% compared to a commercial FOS in 12 h incubation. This study demonstrated the potential of using molasses to produce FOS for feed application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalBioresources and Bioprocessing
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Sugarcane molasses
  • A. pullulans
  • Transfructosylating activity
  • Fructoogliosaccharides
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics


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