Bioresource Technology, Vol.273, 641-653, 2019
Biotechnological applications of inulin-rich feedstocks
Inulin is a naturally occurring second largest storage polysaccharide with a wide range of applications in pharmaceutical and food industries. It is a robust polysaccharide which consists of a linear chain of beta-2, 1-linked-D-fructofuranose molecules terminated with alpha-D-glucose moiety at the reducing end. It is present in tubers, bulbs and tuberous roots of more than 36,000 plants belonging to both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous families. Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, dahlia, asparagus, etc. are important inulin-rich plants. Inulin is a potent substrate and inducer for the production of inulinases. Inulin/inulin-rich feedstocks can be used for the production of fructooligosaccharides and high-fructose syrup. Additionally, inulin-rich feedstocks can also be exploited for the production of other industrially important products like acetone, butanol, bioethanol, single cell proteins, single cell oils, 2, 3-butanediol, sorbitol, mannitol, etc. Current review highlights the biotechnological potential of inulin-rich feedstocks for the production of various industrially important products.