Enzymatic and chemical treatment limits on the controlled solubilization of brewers' spent grain

  • Robertson J
  • Castro-Mariñas L
  • Collins S
 et al. 
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Abstract

The enzymatic hydrolysis of brewers' spent grain (BSG) has been investigated through treatment with commercial carbohydrases and proteases. Resultant residues were then chemically fractionated and delignified. Enzymatic treatments released 25-30% of the BSG mass and yielded precursors suitable for subsequent conversion to potentially value-added products. Controlled chemical fractionation selectively solubilized arabinoxylan but with no differences apparent due to prior enzyme treatment. The loss of non-polysaccharide components during alkali treatment suggests the presence of a high proportion of alkali-soluble lignin. Further delignification of the alkali-insoluble residues and further chemical fractionation released the remaining hemicellulose, to yield a residue which was >90% cellulose. Further knowledge of the properties and interaction between BSG polymers will facilitate an improved enzyme-assisted total deconstruction of BSG and hence the exploitation of its biomass.

Author-supplied keywords

  • brewers' spent grain
  • digestion
  • enzyme
  • fractionation
  • lignin
  • phenolic acid
  • polysaccharide

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Authors

  • James A. Robertson

  • Luis Castro-Mariñas

  • Samuel R.A. Collins

  • Craig B. Faulds

  • Keith W. Waldron

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