Ultrasonic pretreatment of food waste to accelerate enzymatic hydrolysis for glucose production

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Journal / PublicationUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Online published28 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2019



Recovering valuable materials from food waste by applying the concept of a bio-refinery is attracting considerable interest. To this effect, we investigated the possibility of enhancing the enzymatic hydrolysis of food waste using ultrasonic technology. The effect of pre-treating blended food waste with high-intensity ultrasound (20 kHz) on subsequent hydrolysis by glucoamylase was investigated as a function of sonication time and temperature. Particle sizing by laser diffraction, and imaging via scanning electronic microscopy showed that ultrasonic pre-treatment could reduce the particle size of the blended food waste significantly, resulting in a better interaction with the enzyme. As a consequence, the glucose yield of enzymatic hydrolysis was ∼10% higher for food waste pre-sonicated using the most intensive ultrasonication conditions studied (5 min sonication at a power of 0.8 W/mL at 20 °C) than for the untreated control. In addition, the time required to achieve high yields of glucose could be more than halved using ultrasonic pre-treatment. This could enable the hydrolysis reactor size or the enzyme usage to be reduced by more than 50%. Therefore, an ultrasound-assisted bioconversion process from food waste into a value-added product has been demonstrated.

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