Biomanufacturing of high-value sugar molecules, trehalose and trehalulose

Trehalose is a rare sugar of high importance in biological research, with its property to stabilize cell membrane and proteins and protect the organism against drought. It is instrumental in the cryopreservation of human cells (e.g., sperm and blood stem cells). It is a promising agent for the preservation of various tissues and organs for transplantation. Being a GRAS molecule, it is very useful in the food industry, especially in the preparation of frozen food products. It is also used for flavour enhancement in food products. It has high waterretention properties, therefore can avoid water loss in products of food and pharma industries. In cosmetics, it is used as a moisture-retaining agent. Its use can suppress the foul odour in creams and lotions. Trehalose is helpful in reducing human body odour by degrading the unsaturated fatty acids. Trehalulose is a non-cariogenic sugar of reduced glycemic index and anti-oxidant properties. It is highly soluble in water, therefore suitable for making jams and jellies. DBT-CIAB team has invented a novel trehalose synthase which shows high thermal stability, along with catalytic biosynthesis of trehalose at cold to moderate temperatures and acidic to alkaline pH. It has dual catalytic activity of transforming maltose transforming maltose to trehalose and and sucrose to trehalulose.

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