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J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Aug;98(11):4296-4303. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8952. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Disintegration of the agricultural by-product wheat bran under subcritical conditions.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Technology, Silpakorn University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.



The disintegration of destarched wheat bran in water and sulfuric acid (pH 3) under subcritical conditions (275-300 °C) and at short reaction times (1-4 min) was investigated. A cascade process comprising a stepwise separation of the liquid was applied to reduce the formation of undesired degradation products.


The highest degree of biomass disintegration (67% dry mass solubilization) was achieved by application of a cascade process at 275 °C (pH 3). Regarding the dissolution of carbohydrates (monomeric and oligomeric form), the total glucose yields remained below 60%, while the total xylose and arabinose yields were about 76% and 67%. Approximately 74% of the protein and 95% of the mineral fraction could be extracted. The application of the cascade process enabled a substantially reduced formation of degradation products.


When operating hydrothermally and subcritically in order to avoid some problematic aspects of a biorefinery, an extensive disintegration and monomerization of wheat bran and its constituents remains difficult even under the tested conditions (300 °C, pH 3). However, the applied cascade process proved to be useful to increase the yields and to substantially reduce the formation of undesired degradation products. Despite this fact, increased water consumption has to be conceded. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.


biomass disintegration; biorefinery; cascade process; pretreatment; subcritical water treatment; wheat bran

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