Immobilization of β-Galactosidase in Adsorptive Membranes for the Continuous Production of Galacto-Oligosaccharides from Lactose§

Larisa Engel1, Philipp Schneider1, Mehrdad Ebrahimi1, Peter Czermak*, 1, 2
1 University of Applied Sciences Giessen-Friedberg, Institute of Biopharmaceutical Technology-IBPT, Wiesenstrasse 14, D-35390 Giessen, Germany
2 Kansas State University, Department of Chemical Engineering, 105 Durland Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA

© 2007 Engel et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Applied Sci-ences Giessen-Friedberg, Institute of Biopharmaceutical Technology-IBPT,Wiesenstrasse 14, D-35390 Giessen, Germany; Tel: 49-641-3092551; E-mail:
§ Partly presented at the 7th Carbohydrate Bioengineering Meeting (CBM7), 22.-25.4.2007, Braunschweig, Germany


A method for immobilization of β-galactosidase from Kluyveromyces lactis on an adsorptive membrane for the continuous synthesis of galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose was carried out. The immobilization was performed at 4, 10, 15 and 40°C. Two strongly basic anion exchange membranes with tradename MustangTMQ and SartobindTMQ were investigated. In static experiments, the highest enzyme activity was measured on MustangTMQ membranes at the immobilization temperature of 10°C. The synthesis of GOS was performed in a Continuous Membrane-Chromatography- Reactor-System (CMCRS) at 40°C and pH 7.0 using 20 wt% initial lactose concentration. The investigated membranes proved to be a good support for the continuous process at high convective flow rates in the enzyme reactor system. Up to 82% lactose conversion with 24% GOS yield was achieved at different fluxes. The corresponding reactor productivity for the production of GOS from lactose in the CMCRS was 98.7 grams GOS per hour and cubic centimeter membrane volume, which significantly exceeds previously reported results.

Keywords: Immobilization, β-galactosidase, galacto-oligosaccharides, adsorptive membrane, chromatography, membrane, membrane reactor.