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Bioresour Technol. 2008 Jul;99(11):4648-60. Epub 2007 Nov 7.

Melanoidins as major colourant in sugarcane molasses based distillery effluent and its degradation.

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Environmental Microbiology Section, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Post Box No 80, M.G. Marg, Lucknow 226001, UP, India.


Melanoidins are natural condensation products of sugar and amino acids produced by non-enzymatic Maillard amino-carbonyl reaction taking place between the amino and carbonyl groups in organic substances. Melanoidins extensively exist in food products, drinks and wastewaters released from distilleries and fermentation industries. Melanoidins are very important from the nutritional, physiological and environmental aspects and due to their structural complexity, dark colour and offensive odor, these pose serious threat to soil and aquatic ecosystem that release of melanoidins cause increased load of recalcitrant organic material to natural water bodies. This then causes the problems, like reduction of sunlight penetration, decreased photosynthetic activity and dissolved oxygen concentration whereas on land, it causes reduction in soil alkalinity and inhibition of seed germination. Further, due to the possibility of complexation reactions of introduced melanoidins with metal ions, they could influence the biogeochemical cycle of many constituents in natural waters. This review presents an overview to dramatic progress to understand the synthesis, chemical structure and degradation pathway of melanoidins as well as microbial strategies for the degradation and decolourisation of melanoidins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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