Project: Alpha galactosidase for the Industry

The use of enzymes in the industry is well known for the development of novel products ranging from pharmaceutical, to food and beverages. Although most of the enzymes used today in the industry are derived from bacteria and yeast there is a marked trend to move towards enzymes derived from eukaryotic-organisms which are seen by the public as more natural, especially within the food and beverage markets. In addition, there is a constant search for enzymes which might be applied to existing industrial processes without introducing major changes or enzymes able to replace energy-consuming, and/or chemical processes in most cases environmental un-friendly. _x000D__x000D_Within the food and beverage industry one of the fastest developing sectors is the processing of soy for direct (such as soy milk, dairy imitation produtcs, tofu) or indirect (such as food additives to meat, bakery, beverages) use. Although the public understand the benefits of soy rich diets, one of the major problems of this growing industry is the acceptance of soy products by the public due to their taste and flatulence problems. The source of the flatulence problem as well as at least part of the taste problems is due to the presence of Raffinose and Stachyose, two non-digestible oligosaccharides, formed by sucrose, fructose and one or two galactose residues. _x000D__x000D_The enzymatic hydrolysis of raffinose and stachyose into sucrose, sucrose and galactose (all of them digestible) components holds the promise to solve these problems. Many alpha-galactosidases COly from bacterial and fungal origin were developed and tested by their ability to hydrolyze Raffinose and Stachyose in the soy processing industry. However, their characteristics didn’t allow for their use in industrial processes. All of them work within the acidic pH range, are inhibited by their products and have low affinity towards Raffinose. _x000D__x000D_Our goal is to further develop a plant enzyme discovered in melon whose characteristics suit the industrial process and to do it in a natural way which is acceptable for the industry and consumers. The melon-derived alpha galactosidase (AGAL1) has unique bio-conversion properties which fulfill unmet food manufacturing process needs of the food processing industry for an enzyme which is compatible with current industrial manufacturing practice: _x000D__x000D_a) It is active at neutral to basic pH,_x000D_b) It operates at a convenient process temperature_x000D_c) It is not inhibited by their products, and _x000D_d) It can efficiently hydrolyze both raffinose and stachyose, _x000D__x000D_AGAL1 should be further characterized, developed and improved into an industry-friendly enzyme both technically and financially before it is ready for the market. This will be done by these steps: _x000D_1) Expression of the enzyme in large yields in a suitable host for the industry, _x000D_2) increasing enzyme efficiency and expression yields by the application of evolutionary pressure (natural molecular evolution) and _x000D_3) customizing of the improved AGAL1 enzyme process to the existing industrial process. The two first steps are addressed in this project._x000D__x000D_We have created a small consortium including Agazyme Ltd, an Israeli start-up holding the IP rights of this special enzyme as well as the usage know-how and deep contacts with the soy processing industry in Israel (worldwide known Solbar and Tivall) and Bioneer, a Danish biotech company specializing in the production of proteins in organisms which are recognized as safe (Lactococcus lactis used for many years in the diary industry) and improvement of protein activity. _x000D__x000D_We believe that this small consortium will allow us to develop an industrial viable enzyme which will fit the requirements and market needs of the food and beverage soy industry.

Acronym AGALI (Reference Number: 4322)
Duration 21/11/2008 - 21/11/2009
Project Topic AGALI project will engage in the development of the unique alkaline alpha galactosidase . This melon derived enzyme which is also not inhibited by its products making it ideal for industrial processes. We will enhance its specific activity and develop its expression in the high yields required.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
Bioneer and Agazyme managed to:_x000D_Make a production process for alpha galactosidase in E. coli_x000D_Stabilize the enzyme._x000D_Determine properties of the recombinant enzyme._x000D_Produce the alpha galactosidase in E. coli in quantities (mg to gram scale) which enables potential customers to test with respect to performance in their food/feed conversion processes.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 1

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Bioneer A/S Partner Denmark
2 Agazyme Ltd Coordinator Israel