Biotechnological and in situ food production of polyols by lactic acid bacteria
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- Ortiz, M.E., Bleckwedel, J., Raya, R.R. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2013) 97: 4713. doi:10.1007/s00253-013-4884-z
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Polyols such as mannitol, erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol are naturally found in fruits and vegetables and are produced by certain bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and algae. These sugar alcohols are widely used in food and pharmaceutical industries and in medicine because of their interesting physicochemical properties. In the food industry, polyols are employed as natural sweeteners applicable in light and diabetic food products. In the last decade, biotechnological production of polyols by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been investigated as an alternative to their current industrial production. While heterofermentative LAB may naturally produce mannitol and erythritol under certain culture conditions, sorbitol and xylitol have been only synthesized through metabolic engineering processes. This review deals with the spontaneous formation of mannitol and erythritol in fermented foods and their biotechnological production by heterofermentative LAB and briefly presented the metabolic engineering processes applied for polyol formation.