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Recent Pat Biotechnol. 2008;2(2):73-8.

Contributions of biotechnology to the production of mannitol.

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Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Biotechnology & Chemical Technology, P.O. Box 6100, FI-02015 TKK, Finland.


Mannitol is a 6-carbon sugar alcohol that has been produced traditionally by chemical catalysis. Biotechnology has brought advances to the production in terms of substrate purity, process equipment requirements and safety. Enzymatic methods have improved the yields and the use of microbes has brought versatility to the range of substrates that can be used in the processes. Some of the microbial processes are already industrially feasible and could be taken to further use. The most promising production strategy reported so far has been the utilization of non-growing cells of heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria for converting fructose to mannitol. The latest developments in the field have dealt with the use of recombinant strains in mannitol production.

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