Journal of microbiology and biotechnology

Microbiological purification of L-arabitol from xylitol mother liquor.

PMID 21301191


As a rare sugar alcohol, L-arabitol can be used in food and can prevent extra fat deposits in the intestinal tract. Commercially, L-arabitol is prepared from pure L-arabinose by hydrogenation, which needs a high temperature and high pressure, leading to a high production cost for Larabitol. Therefore, this study describes a novel L-arabitol production method based on biological purification from the xylitol mother liquor, a cheap and readily available raw material that contains a high concentration of Larabitol. First, a novel Bacillus megaterium strain was screened that can utilize xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol, yet not L-arabitol. The isolated strain was inoculated into a medium containing the xylitol mother liquor under formulated culture conditions, where a high L-arabitol yield (95%) and high purity (80%) were obtained when the medium was supplemented with 50 g/l of xylitol mother liquor. Upon further purification of the fermentation broth by ion exchange and decolorization, L-arabitol was crystallized with a purity of 98.5%.