D-Xylitol pp 291-306 | Cite as

Overview on Commercial Production of Xylitol, Economic Analysis and Market Trends

  • Sreenivas Rao RavellaEmail author
  • Joe Gallagher
  • Steve Fish
  • Reddy Shetty Prakasham


The interest in xylitol has increased considerably in recent years, due to many commercial applications in different industrial sectors like food, dental related products, and pharmaceuticals. As industrial biotechnological routes to xylitol are costly they currently represents a small fraction of the marketshare. Therefore, over the past few decades much effort has been devoted to the development of cost-effective and environmentally-friendly biotechnological processes by evaluating cheaper lignocellulosic substrates. In this chapter, xylitol commercial processes, cost and market trends are discussed with a special focus on biorefining and biotechnological methods. Increasing commercial and scientific interest in xylitol has led to a strong demand for this product in the global market, of more than 125,000 tons per anum, with a value that is relatively high (4.5–5.5$/kg for bulk purchase by pharma/chewing gum companies and 12£ or 20$/kg in supermarkets) makes its an attractive proposition for commercialization.


Xylose Xylitol Biorefinery Biotechnology Yeast 



Sreenivas gratefully acknowledges funding support from the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government through the BEACON project.


  1. Adapa P, Tabil L, Schoenau G (2009) Compaction characteristics of barley, canola, oat and wheat straw. Biosys Eng 104:335–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aden A, Ruth M, Ibsen K, Jechura J, Neeves K, Sheehan J, Wallace B, Montague L, Slayton A, Lukas J (2002) Lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol process design and economics utilizing co-current dilute acid prehydrolysis and enzymatic hydrolysis for corn stover. National Renewable Energy Laboratory technical report TP-510-32438Google Scholar
  3. Bozell JJ (2008) Feedstocks for the future—biorefinery production of chemicals from renewable carbon. Clean 36:641–647Google Scholar
  4. Charlton A, Elias R, Fish S, Fowler P, Gallagher J (2009) The biorefining opportunities in Wales: understanding the scope for building a sustainable, biorenewable economy using plant biomass. Chem Eng Res Des 87:1147–1161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheng KK, Zhang JA, Chavez E, Li JP (2010) Integrated production of xylitol and ethanol using corncob. Appl Micro Biotech 87:411–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark JH, Deswarte FEI, Farmer TJ (2009) The integration of green chemistry into future biorefineries. Biofuels Bioprod Bioref 3:72–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dahiya JS (1991) Xylitol production by Petromyces albertensis grown on medium containing d-xylose. Can J Microbiol 37:14–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dumon C, Song L, Bozonnet S, Fauré R, O’Donohue MJ (2011) Progress and future prospects for pentose-specific biocatalysts in biorefining. Process Biochem 47:346–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Emodi A (1978) Xylitol: its properties and food applications. Food Technol 32:20–32Google Scholar
  10. Faveri DD, Perego P, Converti A, Del Borghi M (2002) Xylitol recovery by crystallization from synthetic solutions and fermented hemicellulose hydrolyzates. Chemical Eng J 90:291–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fitzpatrick M, Champagne P, Cunningham MF, Whitney RA (2010) A biorefinery processing perspective: treatment of lignocellulosic materials for the production of value-added products. Biores Technol 101:8915–8922CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Franceschin G, Sudiro M, Ingram T, Smirnova I, Brunner G, Bertucco A (2011) Conversion of rye straw into fuel and xylitol: a technical and economical assessment based on experimental data. Chem Eng Res Des 89:631–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gardonyi M, Sterberg MO, Rodrigues C, Spencer-Martins I, Hahn-Hagerdal B (2003) High capacity xylose transport in Candida intermedia PYCC 4715. FEMS Yeast Res 3:45–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garleb KA, Bourquin LD, Hsu JT, Wagner GW, Schmidt SJ, Fahey GC Jr (1991) Isolation and chemical analyses of nonfermented fiber fractions of oat hulls and cottonseed hulls. J Anim Sci 69:1255–1271PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Gong CS, Chen LF, Tsao GT (1981) Quantitative production of xylitol from D xylose by a high xylitol producing yeast mutant Candida tropicalis HXP2. Biotechnol Lett 3(130):135Google Scholar
  16. Granström TB, Izumori K, Leisola M (2007) A rare sugar xylitol. Part I: the biochemistry and biosynthesis of xylitol. Appl Microbiol Biotech 74:277–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guo C, Zhao C, He P, Lu D, Shen A, Jiang N (2006) Screening and characterization of yeasts for xylitol production. J Appl Microbiol 101:1096–1104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hiroshi O, Toshiyuki S (1966) The production of xylitol, l-arabitol and ribitol by yeasts. Agri Biol Chem 30:1139–1144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hyvonen L, Koivistoinen P, Voirol F (1982) Food technological evaluation of xylitol. In: Chichester CO, Mrak EM, Stewart G (eds) Advances in food research, vol 28. Academic Press, New York, pp 373–403Google Scholar
  20. Ingarm T, Rogalinski T, Bockemuhl V, Antranikian G, Brunner G (2009) Semi-continuous liquid hot water pre-treatment of rye straw for bioethanol production. J Supercrit Fluids 48:238–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ingram T, Wörmeyer K, Ju Ixcaraguá Lima JC, Bockemühl V, Antranikian G, Brunner G, Smirnova I (2011) Comparison of different pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic materials. Part I: conversion of rye straw to valuable products. Biores Technol 102:5221–5228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jørgensen H, Kristensen JB, Felby C (2007) Enzymatic conversion of lignocellulose into fermentable sugars: challenges and opportunities. Biofuels Bioprod Bioref 1:119–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kazi FK, Fortman JA, Anex RP, Hsu DD, Aden A, Dutta A, Kothandaraman G (2010) Techno-economic comparison of process technologies for biochemical ethanol production from corn stover. Fuel 89:S20–S28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kim S-Y, Kim JH, Oh DK (1997) Improvement of xylitol production by controlling oxygen supply in Candida parapsilosis. J Ferm Bioeng 83:267–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kocoloski M, Michael Griffin W, Scott Matthews H (2011) Impacts of facility size and location decisions on ethanol production cost. Energy Policy 39:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koutinas AA, Wang RH, Webb C (2007) The biochemurgist—bioconversion of agricultural raw materials for chemical production. Biofuels Bioprod Bioref 1:24–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lange JP (2007) Lignocellulose conversion: an introduction to chemistry, process and economics. Biofuels Bioprod Bioref 1:39–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leathers TD, Gupta SC (1997) Xylitol and riboflavin accumulation in xylose-grown cultures of Pichia guilliermondii. Appl Microbiol Biotech 47:58–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Makinen KK (2000) The rocky road of xylitol to its clinical application. J Den Res 79:1352–1355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Martınez EA, Silva JB, Giulietti M, Napoles Solenzal AI (2007) Downstream process for xylitol produced from fermented hydrolysate. Enz Microbial Technol 40:1193–1198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Misra S, Gupta P, Raghuwanshi S, Dutt K, Saxena RK (2011) Comparative study on different strategies involved for xylitol purification from culture media fermented by Candida tropicalis. Sep Purif Technol 78:266–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ojamo H (1994) Yeast xylose metabolism and xylitol production. PhD Thesis. Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, FinlandGoogle Scholar
  33. Prakasham RS, Sreenivas Rao R, Hobbs PJ (2009) Current trends in biotechnological production of xylitol and future prospects. Curr Trends Biotech Pharm 3:8–36Google Scholar
  34. Russo JR (1977) Xylitol: anti-caries sweetener? Food Eng 79:37–40Google Scholar
  35. Saha BC, Bothast RJ (1997) Microbial production of xylitol. In: Saha BC, Woodward J (eds) Fuels and chemicals from biomass. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp 307–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sampaio FC, Lopes Passos FM, Vieira Passos FJ, De Faveri D, Perego P, Converti A (2006) Xylitol crystallization from culture media fermented by yeasts. Chem Eng Proc 45:1041–1046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sampaio FC, Chaves-Alves VM, Converti A, Passos FM, Coelho JLC (2008) Influence of cultivation conditions on xylose-to-xylitol bioconversion by a new isolate of Debaryomyces hanseni. Biores Technol 99:502–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sánchez S, Bravo V, Moya AJ, Castro E, Camacho F (2004) Influence of temperature on the fermentation of d-xylose by Pachysolen tannophilus to produce ethanol and xylitol. Process Biochem 39:673–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Silva CJSM, Mussatto SI, Roberto IC (2006) Study of xylitol production by Candida guilliermondii on a bench bioreactor. J Food Eng 75:115–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sirisansaneeyakul S, Staniszewski M, Rizzi M (1995) Screening of yeasts for production of xylitol from d-xylose. J Ferm Bioeng 80:565–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sreenivas Rao R, Prakasham RS, Krishna Prasad K, Rajesham S, Sharma PN, Rao LV (2004) Xylitol production by Candida sp.: parameter optimization using Taguchi approach. Process Biochem 39:951–956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sreenivas Rao R, Jyothi CP, Prakasham RS, Rao CS, Sarma PN, Rao LV (2006a) Strain improvement of Candida tropicalis for the production of xylitol: biochemical and physiological characterization of wild-type and mutant strain CT-OMV5. J Microbiol 44:113–120Google Scholar
  43. Sreenivas Rao R, Jyothi CP, Prakasham RS, Rao CS, Sarma PN, Rao LV (2006b) Xylitol production from corn fiber and sugarcane bagasse hydrolysates by Candida tropicalis. Biores Technol 97:1974–1978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sreenivas Rao R, Bhadra B, Shivaji S (2007a) Isolation and characterization of xylitol-producing yeasts from the gut of colleopteran insects. Curr Microbiol 55:441–446PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sreenivas Rao R, Prakasham RS, Piilai B, Pillai D, Venkateswar Rao L (2007b) Cloning and expression of XYL1 gene encoding for d-xylose reductase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Proc Andhra Pradesh Acad Sci 10:91–99Google Scholar
  46. Suryadi H, Katsuragi T, Yoshida N, Suzuki S, Tani Y (2000) Polyol production by culture of methanol utilizing yeast. J Biosci Bioeng 89:236–240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wang L, Yang M, Fan X, Zhu X, Xu T, Yuan Q (2011) An environmentally friendly and efficient method for xylitol bioconversion with high-temperature-steaming corncob hydrolysate by adapted Candida tropicalis. Process Biochem 46:1619–1626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. West TP (2009) Xylitol production by Candida species grown on a grass hydrolysate. World J Microbiol Biotech 25:913–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wright MM, Brown RC (2007) Comparative economics of biorefineries based on the biochemical and thermochemical platforms. Biofuels Bioprod Bioref 1:49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yablochkova EN, Bolotnikova OI, Mikhailova NP, Nemova NN, Ginak AI (2003) The activity of xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase in yeasts. Microbiology 72:414–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yang S-T (2007) Bioprocessing—from biotechnology to biorefinery. In: Yang S-T (ed) Bioprocessing for value-added products from renewable resources. Elsevier B.V., OxfordGoogle Scholar
  52. Yilikari R (1979) Metabolic and nutritional aspects of xylitol. In: Chichester CO, Mrak EM, Stewart G (eds) Advances in food research, vol 25. Academic Press, New York, pp 159–180Google Scholar
  53. Yoshitake J, Ohiwa H, Shimamura M, Imai T (1971) Production of polyalcohol by a Cornynebacterium species. Part 1. Production of pentitol from aldopentose. Agric Boil Chem 35:905–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yoshitake J, Ishizaki H, Shimamura M, Imai T (1973) Xylitol production by an Enterobacter species. Agric Biol Chem 37:2261–2267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yoshitake J, Shimamura M, Ishizaki H, Irie Y (1976) Xylitol production by an Enterobacter liquefaciens. Agric Biol Chem 40:1493–1503CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sreenivas Rao Ravella
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joe Gallagher
    • 1
  • Steve Fish
    • 1
  • Reddy Shetty Prakasham
    • 2
  1. 1.Bioconversion and Biorefining Group, Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)Aberystwyth UniversityAberystwyth, CeredigionUK
  2. 2.Bioengineering and Environmental CentreIndian Institute of Chemical TechnologyHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations