Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vol.81, No.1, 35-52, 1999
Recent developments in microbial inulinases - Its production, properties, and industrial applications
Microbial inulinases are an important class of industrial enzymes that have gained much attention recently. Inulinases can be produced by a host of microorganisms, including fungi, yeast, and bacteria. Among them, however, Aspergillus sp. (filamentous fungus) and Kluyveromyces sp. (diploid yeast) are apparently the preferred choices for commercial applications. Among various substrates (carbon source) employed for their production, inulin-containing plant materials offer advantages in comparison to pure substrates. Although submerged fermentation has been universally used as the technique of fermentation, attempts are being made to develop solid-state fermentation technology also. Inulinases catalyze the hydrolysis of inulin to D-fructose (fructose syrup), which has gained an important place in human diets today. In addition, inulinases are finding other newer applications. This article reviews more recent developments, especially those made in the past decade, on microbial inulinases-its production using various microorganisms and substrates. It also describes the characteristics of various forms of inulinases produced as well as their applications.