Lactose: The Milk Sugar from a Biotechnological Perspective

  title={Lactose: The Milk Sugar from a Biotechnological Perspective},
  author={Ana Cristina Adam and Marta Rubio-Texeira and Julio Polaina},
  journal={Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition},
  pages={553 - 557}
Abstract Lactose is a very important sugar because of its abundance in the milk of humans and domestic animals. Lactose is a valuable asset as a basic nutrient and the main substrate in fermentative processes that led to the production of fermented milk products, such as yogurt and kefir. In some instances, lactose also can be a problem as the causative agent of some diseases, such as lactose intolerance and galactosemia, or for being a by-product generated in huge amounts by the cheese… 
Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for lactose/whey fermentation
Emphasis is given in the present review on strain improvement for lactose-to-ethanol bioprocesses, namely flocculent yeast strains for continuous high- cell-density systems with enhanced ethanol productivity.
Validation and optimization of β-galactosidasev production by Aspergillus lacticoffeatus
The potential of the enzyme for the synthesis of prebiotics was studied and it was demonstrated that -galactosidase from A. lacticoffeatus is able to catalyze the transfer reactions involved in the formation of lactulose and GOS.
Health benefits of fermented foods
The health effects of fermented foods are investigated to investigate whether there is a relationship between fermented foods and health benefits as some studies have shown no link.
Physico-chemical properties of Khoa prepared from lactose hydrolyzed buffalo milk
The low lactose Khoa developed in this study had different physicochemical properties from the control sample with better shelf life and its physico-chemical, textural and microbiological quality were examined during storage at 5–7 °C for 28 days.
Galacto-Oligosaccharides: Production, Properties, Applications, and Significance as Prebiotics.
This article focuses on GOS production from synthesis to purification processes, and several microbial GH, proposed for the synthesis of GOS, are hierarchized according to the referred performance indicators.


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The development of the intricate mechanisms of lactase synthesis in the mammary gland and of lactose digestion in the intestinal tract would run counter to evolutionary economy if lactose did not convey a special selective advantage during the suckling period.
Genetics of lactose utilization in lactic acid bacteria.
The lactose genes show characteristic configurations and very high sequence identity in some phylogenetically distant lactic acid bacteria such as Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus or Lactococcus and L lactobacilli, suggesting a common evolutionary pathway.
Alcohol production from cheese whey permeate using genetically modified flocculent yeast cells.
Alcoholic fermentation of cheese whey permeate was investigated using a recombinant flocculating Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing the LAC4 and LAC12 genes of Kluyveromyces marxianus enabling for lactose metabolization, raising new perspectives for the economic feasibility of whey alcoholic fermentation.
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It is shown that whey can be used as the carbon source for S. cerevisiae growth and as the substrate for bioconversion to fructose diphosphate.
Lactose/whey utilization and ethanol production by transformed Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells
Fermentation studies with transformed yeast strains showed that the release of β‐galactosidase allowed an efficient growth on buffered media containing lactose as carbon source as well as on whey‐based media.
Highly efficient assimilation of lactose by a metabolically engineered strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
A diploid strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae able to metabolize lactose with high efficiency has been obtained and it was found that this lack of vigour was caused by their genetic background and not by a deficient expression of the heterologous genes.
Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them
Along the pathway A→B→C, the streptococcal proportion in the total kefir microflora increased by 26–30% whereas the lactobacilli decreased by 13–23%.
Crystal structure of beta-glucosidase A from Bacillus polymyxa: insights into the catalytic activity in family 1 glycosyl hydrolases.
A potent and well known inhibitor of different glycosidases, D-glucono-1,5-lactone, was used in an attempt to define interactions of the substrate with specific protein residues, and a detailed picture of the active center can be drawn, for a family 1 enzyme.
Crystal structure of lactose synthase reveals a large conformational change in its catalytic component, the beta1,4-galactosyltransferase-I.
Details of a structural basis for the partially ordered kinetic mechanism proposed for lactose synthase are provided and the role of alpha-lactalbumin is to hold Glc by hydrogen bonding with the O-1 hydroxyl group in the acceptor-binding site on beta4Gal-T1, while the N-acetyl group-binding pocket in beta4 Gal-T2 adjusts to maximize the interactions with the Glc molecule.