Inulinases have been extracted and characterized from inulin-storing tissues; however, production of microbial inulinases have recently draw much attention as they offer several industrial advantages. Many microorganisms, including filamentous fungi, yeast and bacteria have been claimed as inulinase producers. These hydrolases are usually inducible and their exo-acting forms may hydrolyze fructose polymers (inulin) and oligosaccharides such as sucrose and raffinose. Fungal inulinase extracts are often produced as stable mixture of highly active fructanhydrolases. From a practical prospective, the best known inulinases to date are those produced by species of Penicillium, Aspergillus and Kluyveromyces.
The production of extracellular inulinase by A. kawachii
in liquid cultures, using either inulin or yacon derived materials as CES as well as inulinase inducers, is reported. In addition, a partial characterization of the enzyme activity is included.
Yacon derived products, particularly yacon juice, added to the culture medium proved to be a good CES for fungal growth as well as an inducer of enzyme synthesis. Partial characterization of the enzyme revealed that it is quite stable in a wide range of pH and temperature. In addition, characterization of the reaction products revealed that this enzyme corresponds to an exo-type. These facts are promising considering its potential application in inulin hydrolysis for the production of high fructose syrups.