Novel Enzymatic Production of L-Malic Acid as an Alternative Acidulant to Citric Acid
During the production of phthalic anhydride, the crude fumaric acid, which is obtained as a byproduct, is often purified to obtain a food grade product which is then sold as a food acidulant. However, because of the low solubility of fumaric acid, its sales volume is limited. If crude fumaric acid could be converted to L-malic acid, then a much larger market would be created for this product. This would allow savings in the cost of acidulants for the formulation of processed foods and beverages. Although processors are reluctant to change ingredient formulations, they are most happy to use the lower priced items when fabricating new products. However in such products as infant foods, where DL-malic acid was recently banned by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, (1) there is an immediate market for the L form of malic acid. A process for conversion of fumaric acid to L-malic acid has been developed on a laboratory scale at the Microbiological Laboratories of Snamprogetti, with the assistance of Biochem Design; this process is discussed in this paper.
KeywordsCitric Acid Malic Acid Fumaric Acid Calcium Salt Citric Acid Produc
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