The biotechnological production of sorbitol
Sorbitol, a polyol found in many fruits, is of increasing industrial interest as a sweetener, humectant, texturizer and softener. At present, it is produced chemically. The bacterium Zymomonas mobilis is able to produce sorbitol and gluconic acid from fructose and glucose, respectively. This is possible in a one-step reaction via a glucose-fructose oxidoreductase so far only known from Z. mobilis. The possibilities for the industrial production of sorbitol by Z. mobilis are discussed, and compared with the current chemical production method as well as other microbiological processes.
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