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Trends Biotechnol. 2011 Aug;29(8):388-98. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 May 10.

Advances in bacterial exopolysaccharides: from production to biotechnological applications.

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REQUIMTE/CQFB, Chemistry Department, FCT/Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal.


A vast number of bacterial extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs) have been reported over recent decades, and their composition, structure, biosynthesis and functional properties have been extensively studied. Despite the great diversity of molecular structures already described for bacterial EPSs, only a few have been industrially developed. The main constraints to full commercialization are their production costs, mostly related to substrate cost and downstream processing. In this article, we review EPS biosynthetic and fermentative processes, along with current downstream strategies. Limitations and constraints of bacterial EPS development are stressed and correlation of bacterial EPS properties with polymer applications is emphasized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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