Factors that Interfere in Dextran Production By Sugarcane Contaminating Microorganisms

Antonio Sérgio de Oliveira, Danilo Antonio Rinaldi, Carolina Tamanini, Cristiano Elemar Voll, Maria Celia Oliveira Hauly


Dextrans are polysaccharides produced by microorganisms, specially bacterias from the Leuconostoc genus. Dextrans have a high molecular weigh and most of the glycosidic bonds are a(1®6). For the sugar manufacture, dextran is a problem which changes the quality of sugar and the industry efficiency. Dextrans are synthesized when the sugarcane is spoiled before the harvest period, through the sugarcane fissures, which permit the penetration of microorganisms that deteriorate the sugarcane. This work aims at improving the sugar quality and the industry efficiency by isolating dextran producing microorganisms, comparing the time of burning with the infection index and the dextran concentration in the sugarcane juice. Dextran producing microorganisms were isolated from sugarcane juice during the 97/98; 99/00 and 2001 harvests. The isolated strains were maintained in MRS agar at the temperature of 4°C. The fermentation was carried out in MRS broth for 72 hours at 28°C with 180 rpm. Dextran was analyzed by spectrophotometry at 485 nm. Only three isolated strains showed good dextran production. The average of dextran production in MRS broth was 390 mg%. It was observed that a burning period above 72 hours increases the sugarcane contamination and causes high dextran production, and consequently the reduction of the industry efficiency of the sugar factory.


Leuconostoc mesenteroides; Dextran production Sugarcane burning period.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0375.2002v23n1p93

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