The effect of enzyme to substrate ratio, initial lactose concentration and temperature has been studied for the kinetically controlled reaction of lactose transgalactosylation with Aspergillus oryzae β-galactosidase, to produce prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). Enzyme to substrate ratio had no significant effect on maximum yield and specific productivity. Galacto-oligosaccharide syntheses at very high lactose concentrations (40, 50 and 60%, w/w, lactose monohydrate) were evaluated at different temperatures (40, 47.5 and 55°C). Within these ranges, lactose could be found as a supersaturated solution or a heterogeneous system with precipitated lactose, resulting in significant effect on GOS synthesis. An increase in initial lactose concentration produced a slight increase in maximum yield as long as lactose remained dissolved. Increase in temperature produced a slight decrease in maximum yield and an increase in specific productivity when supersaturation of lactose occurred during reaction. Highest yield of 29g GOS/100g lactose added was obtained at a lactose monohydrate initial concentration of 50% (w/w) and 47.5°C. Highest specific productivity of 0.38g GOSh -1mgenzyme -1 was obtained at lactose monohydrate initial concentration of 40% (w/w) and 55°C, where a maximum yield of 27g GOS/100g lactose added was reached. This reflects the complex interplay between temperature and initial lactose concentration on the reaction of synthesis. When lactose precipitation occurred, values of yields and specific productivities lower than 22g GOS/100g lactose added and 0.03gGOSh -1mgenzyme -1were obtained, respectively.
- Aspergillus oryzae