Simultaneous hydrolysis of cheese whey and lactulose production catalyzed by β-galactosidase from Kluyveromyces lactis NRRL Y1564

  • Maria de Fátima Matos de Freitas
  • Lucas C. Hortêncio
  • Tiago Lima de Albuquerque
  • Maria Valderez Ponte RochaEmail author
  • Luciana Rocha Barros GonçalvesEmail author
Research Paper


β-Galactosidase was produced by the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis NRRL Y1564 in cheese whey supplemented with yeast extract under the optimal temperature of 30 °C, delivering an enzymatic activity of 4418.37 U/gcell after 12 h of process. In order to develop more stable biocatalysts, the enzyme produced by fermentation was immobilized on 2.0% w/v chitosan activated with glutaraldehyde, epichlorohydrin or glycidol, producing a highly active and stable biocatalyst capable of hydrolyzing lactose and producing lactulose simultaneously. The biocatalyst obtained by immobilization in chitosan-glutaraldehyde showed high storage stabilities (100% of its activity when stored at 4 °C 105 days). Regarding the milk lactose hydrolysis by both the soluble and the immobilized enzyme, the conversions obtained were 38.0% and 42.8%, respectively. In this study, by using a biocatalyst deriving from enzyme immobilization to chitosan support, a lactulose production of 17.32 g/L was also possible.


Whey Enzyme production Immobilization Lactose Lactulose 



The authors are grateful for the financial support provided by the Brazilian research agencies CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) and FUNCAP (Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

The article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringFederal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil

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