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Fractionation of Corn Fiber Treated by Soaking in Aqueous Ammonia (SAA) for Isolation of Hemicellulose B and Production of C5 Sugars by Enzyme Hydrolysis

Nghiem, Nhuan P., Montanti, Justin, Johnston, David B., Drapcho, Caye
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2011 v.164 no.8 pp. 1390-1404
ammonia, arabinose, cellulose, coproducts, corn, enzymatic hydrolysis, ethanol, fermentation, ferulic acid, fractionation, hemicellulose, hydrolysis, polygalacturonase, soaking, solubilization, wet milling, xylan, xylanases, xylose
A process was developed to fractionate and isolate the hemicellulose B component of corn fiber generated by corn wet milling. The process consisted of pretreatment by soaking in aqueous ammonia followed by enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis, during which the hemicellulose B was solubilized by cleavage into xylo-oligosaccharides and subsequently recovered by precipitation with ethanol. The pretreatment step resulted in high retention of major sugars and improvement of subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis. The recovered hemicellulose B was hydrolyzed by a cocktail of enzymes that consisted of β-glucosidase, pectinase, xylanase, and ferulic acid esterase (FAE). Xylanase alone was ineffective, demonstrating yields of less than 2% of xylose and arabinose. The greatest xylose and arabinose yields, 44% and 53%, respectively, were obtained by the combination of pectinase and FAE. A mass balance accounted for 87% of the initially present glucan, 91% of the xylan, and 90% of the arabinan. The developed process offered a means for production of corn fiber gum as a value-added co-product and C5 sugars, which could be converted to other valuable co-products through fermentation in a corn wet-milling biorefinery.