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  Global Journal of Biochemistry. Volume 1, Issue 1 (2010) pp. 36-67
  Review Article Free Article
Value added products from hemicellulose: Biotechnological perspective
  Vishnu Menon, Gyan Prakash, Mala Rao  
Biochemical Sciences Division, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, 411 008 India
  Lignocellulosic biomass represents a renewable, widespread and low cost source of sugars which can be used as substrate for the production of specialilty chemicals. Various agricultural residues contain about 20-30% hemicellulose, the second most abundant biopolymer found in nature. They are heterogeneous polymer of pentoses (xylose and arabinose) hexoses (mannose, glucose and galactose) and sugar acids. Xylans is the major component of hemicellulose and are heteropolysaccharides with homopolymeric backbone chains of 1, 4 linked β-D-xylopyranose units. The conversion of hemicellulose to bioethanol and other value added products is challenging problem and is foreseen to be essential for the economic success of lignocellulosic ethanol.  The xylose from the hemicellulose hydrolysate can be fermented to ethanol / xylitol /lactic acid and other valuable products by pentose fermenting microbes. Xylitol a non caloric sugar has important applications in pharmaceuticals and food industries due to high sweetening power, non- and anticariogenicity property. The acid or enzymatic hydrolysis of hemicellulose to fermentable sugars will be outlined. The enzymatic and fermentation routes for the conversion of hemicellulose into useful products will be described.
  Hemicellulose; Lignocellulosic biomass; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Enzymatic and fermentation routes  

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