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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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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  • James A. Robertson

  • Luis Castro-Mariñas

  • Samuel R.A. Collins

  • Craig B. Faulds

  • Keith W. Waldron

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