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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Feb 27;61(8):1914-9. doi: 10.1021/jf304749v. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Separation and purification of γ-aminobutyric acid from fermentation broth by flocculation and chromatographic methodologies.

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Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, Ministry of Education, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin, P R China.


To date, the multifunctional γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is mainly produced by microbial fermentation in industry. The purpose of this study was to find an effective method for separation and purification of 31.2 g/L initial GABA from the fermentation broth of Enterococcus raffinosus TCCC11660. To remove the impurities from fermentation broth, flocculation pretreatment using chitosan and sodium alginate was first implemented to facilitate subsequent filtration. Ultrafiltration followed two discontinuous diafiltration steps to effectively remove proteins and macromolecular pigments, and the resulting permeate was further decolored by DA201-CII resin at a high decoloration ratio and GABA recovery. Subsequently, ion exchange chromatography (IEC) with Amberlite 200C resin and gradient elution were applied for GABA separation from glutamate and arginine. Finally, GABA crystals of 99.1% purity were prepared via warm ethanol precipitation twice. Overall, our results reveal that the successive process including flocculation, filtration, ultrafiltration, decoloration, IEC, and crystallization is promising for scale-up GABA extraction from fermentation broth.

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