Tapioca ideal alternative to corn for starch sweeteners

In countries where corn and sugarcane are not grown in abundance, tapioca may be an ideal alternative to produce sweeteners such as glucose, fructose or maltose syrup, says an article.

New York: In countries where corn and sugarcane are not grown in abundance, tapioca may be an ideal alternative to produce sweeteners such as glucose, fructose or maltose syrup, says an article.

The availability of novel enzymes and processes designed to break down starch into sugar makes the starch-filled roots of tapioca a good candidate for producing the sweeteners, the article noted.

"Novel enzyme discovery and development continues to be core to expanding industrial biotechnology opportunities," said co-editor-in-chief Larry Walker, a professor at Cornell University in New York, US.

The authors discussed the variety of enzymes and processing steps available to convert tapioca starch to glucose via liquefaction and saccharification.

They also described the current geographic distribution of cassava cultivation and the composition and utility of the starch that comprises 24-30 percent of the cassava tuber.

The article appeared in the journal Industrial Biotechnology.

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