Applied biochemistry and biotechnology

Strain screening, fermentation, separation, and encapsulation for production of nattokinase functional food.

PMID 22987066


This study presents a novel and integrated preparation technology for nattokinase functional food, including strain screening, fermentation, separation, and encapsulation. To rapidly screen a nattokinase-productive strain, PCR-based screening method was combined with fibrinolytic activity-based method, and a high productive strain, Bacillus subtilis LSSE-22, was isolated from Chinese soybean paste. Reduction of poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) concentration may contribute to separation of nattokinase and reduction of late-onset anaphylaxis risk. Chickpeas were confirmed as the favorable substrate for enhancement of nattokinase production and reduction of γ-PGA yield. Using cracked chickpeas, the nattokinase activity reached 356.25 ± 17.18 FU/g (dry weight), which is much higher than previous reports. To further reduce γ-PGA concentration, ethanol fractional extraction and precipitation were applied for separation of nattokinase. By extraction with 50 % and precipitation with 75 % ethanol solution, 4,000.58 ± 192.98 FU/g of nattokinase powders were obtained, and the activity recovery reached 89 ± 1 %, while γ-PGA recovery was reduced to 21 ± 2 %. To improve the nattokinase stability at acidic pH condition, the nattokinase powders were encapsulated, and then coated with methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate copolymer. After encapsulation, the nattokinase was protected from being denatured under various acid conditions, and pH-responsible controlled release at simulated intestinal fluid was realized.