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Ferreira A.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Ferreira A.,University of Porto | Faria N.,Biotempo Consultoria em Biotecnologia Lda | Rocha F.,University of Porto | Teixeira J.A.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research

The morphological forms and habits of crystals and agglomeration are important properties on crystallization processes. Online techniques for realtime measurement of these properties are mandatory for a better comprehension of crystal growth phenomenon. The present paper presents and describes a new online method to determine the complexity level of a crystal or a population of crystals during a crystallization process. An image analysis technique is combined with discriminant factorial analysis leading to results that allow the computation of the complexity of crystals through the parameter agglomeration degree of crystals. With this methodology, it has been possible to distinguish online and automatically among three different classes of crystals according to their complexity. It further describes the application of such methodology on the study of CaCl2, D-fructose, and D-glucose influence on the crystallization of sucrose, namely, on crystal size, morphology, and complexity. The effect of supersaturation, growth rate, and impurity concentration on the type, amount, and complexity level of the agglomerates was determined at different temperatures. The combination of image analysis and kinetic results allowed to understand better the crystallization phenomena in the presence and absence of impurities. The image analysis results suggest the possible application of this tool for process control, optimizing, by this way, laboratory and industrial crystallizers. © 2011 American Chemical Society. Source

Dominguez A.L.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Rodrigues L.R.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Rodrigues L.R.,Biotempo Consultoria em Biotecnologia Lda | Lima N.M.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Teixeira J.A.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering
Food and Bioprocess Technology

Over the past years, many researchers have suggested that deficiencies in the diet can lead to disease states and that some diseases can be avoided through an adequate intake of relevant dietary components. Recently, a great interest in dietary modulation of the human gut has been registered. Prebiotics, such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS), play a key role in the improvement of gut microbiota balance and in individual health. FOS are generally used as components of functional foods, are generally regarded as safe (generally recognized as safe status-from the Food and Drug Administration, USA), and worth about 150€ per kilogram. Due to their nutrition- and health-relevant properties, such as moderate sweetness, low carcinogenicity, low calorimetric value, and low glycemic index, FOS have been increasingly used by the food industry. Conventionally, FOS are produced through a two-stage process that requires an enzyme production and purification step in order to proceed with the chemical reaction itself. Several studies have been conducted on the production of FOS, aiming its optimization toward the development of more efficient production processes and their potential as food ingredients. The improvement of FOS yield and productivity can be achieved by the use of different fermentative methods and different microbial sources of FOS-producing enzymes and the optimization of nutritional and culture parameter; therefore, this review focuses on the latest progresses in FOS research such as its production, functional properties, and market data. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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