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Bioconversion and separation of milk carbohydrates on nanomembranes Open Access


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Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Pikus, Wojciech
Supervisor and department
Dr. David Bressler (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. David Bressler (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Dr. Feral Temelli (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Dr. Andreas Schieber (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Dr. William McCaffrey (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Dr. Mark Lefsrud (Bioresource Engineering, University of McGill)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Cost-effective processing of dairy whey permeates is important to the environment and economics of the agriculture industry in Canada. Bioconversion of whey permeates is an attractive means of obtaining value-added adjuncts with improved nutritional and functional properties. In the past, cost-effective technologies to recover additional value from whey permeates at a low cost were lacking. Currently, such a technological platform is now feasible with the introduction of new modern bioconversion technologies that incorporate batch or continuous bioreactors, and use ultra- and nano-filtration membranes for the separation of whey permeate components. In this dissertation, a novel processing methodology is described. This methodology, which is a desirable configuration for food manufacturers includes a stirred batch nanomembrane bioreactor equipped with a crossflow nanomembrane and offers lactose bioconversion with an immobilized biocatalyst, product separation, and biocatalyst recovery in a batch operation. The major focus of this research was on: a) the development of a new analytical methodology for carbohydrate measurement during the lactose bioconversion process, b) the selection, testing and integration of highly selective nanomembranes to separate the desired substrates, whey permeate carbohydrates, from the reaction mixture, and c) the production of a stable and highly active and specific immobilized biocatalyst. Noticeably, this methodology was designed, developed and tested for the bioconversion of lactose, but could also be used for the bioconversion of other carbohydrate feedstocks. The food industry in Canada needs an integrated approach to achieve complete lactose reclamation and use. This research project offers such a solution. The research described in this dissertation presents an integrated model of a stirred batch bioreactor that may support not only current, but also future research, and may economically impact the development and bioconversion of whey permeates containing lactose. This may lead to the development of a continuous processing methodology for low cost recovery of lactose from whey permeates and simultaneous conversion to value-added products.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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