Continuous process technology for glucoside production from sucrose using a whole cell-derived solid catalyst of sucrose phosphorylase

Andreas Kruschitz, Linda Peinsipp, Martin Pfeiffer, Bernd Nidetzky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Advanced biotransformation processes typically involve the upstream processing part performed continuously and interlinked tightly with the product isolation. Key in their development is a catalyst that is highly active, operationally robust, conveniently produced, and recyclable. A promising strategy to obtain such catalyst is to encapsulate enzymes as permeabilized whole cells in porous polymer materials. Here, we show immobilization of the sucrose phosphorylase from Bifidobacterium adolescentis (P134Q-variant) by encapsulating the corresponding E. coli cells into polyacrylamide. Applying the solid catalyst, we demonstrate continuous production of the commercial extremolyte 2-α-d-glucosyl-glycerol (2-GG) from sucrose and glycerol. The solid catalyst exhibited similar activity (≥70%) as the cell-free extract (~800 U g −1 cell wet weight) and showed excellent in-operando stability (40 °C) over 6 weeks in a packed-bed reactor. Systematic study of immobilization parameters related to catalyst activity led to the identification of cell loading and catalyst particle size as important factors of process optimization. Using glycerol in excess (1.8 M), we analyzed sucrose conversion dependent on space velocity (0.075–0.750 h −1) and revealed conditions for full conversion of up to 900 mM sucrose. The maximum 2-GG space-time yield reached was 45 g L −1 h −1 for a product concentration of 120 g L −1. Collectively, our study establishes a step-economic route towards a practical whole cell-derived solid catalyst of sucrose phosphorylase, enabling continuous production of glucosides from sucrose. This strengthens the current biomanufacturing of 2-GG, but also has significant replication potential for other sucrose-derived glucosides, promoting their industrial scale production using sucrose phosphorylase. Key points: • Cells of sucrose phosphorylase fixed in polyacrylamide were highly active and stable. • Solid catalyst was integrated with continuous flow to reach high process efficiency. • Generic process technology to efficiently produce glucosides from sucrose is shown. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5383-5394
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • 2-α-d-Glucosyl-glycerol
  • Continuous biomanufacturing
  • Flow bio-catalysis
  • Packed-bed reactor
  • Sucrose phosphorylase
  • Whole cell-based enzyme immobilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology


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