CARBAFIN’s “Sweet Event”

In our final project phase, the CARBAFIN “Sweet Event” was part of our schedule. Coordinator acib organized this public event in the frame of the Austrian Long Night of Research. We wanted to present our achievements around the exploitation of sugar beet biomass with the help of enzymatic methods, and to show the impact of the project to a broad audience from public. Our intention was to explain in easy words, what a glycosylation platform technology can offer to public, how these methods are connected to consumables of our every day life and how public money from fundings is used for research.

A special highlight for kids was the possibility to mix their own hand creme by using glucosylglycerol – one of the main target compounds of the project.

Get some impressions from the picture gallery below!



Public Deliverable: Gender aspects in Biotech Jobs

The H2020 project CARBAFIN is developed and implemented under major contribution of female consortium members (41% female consortium members, female project managers). However, the team recognized a lack of gender balance in leading positions at consortium member organisations. The team therefore decided to conduct an online survey on the consortium
members’ opinion on gender equality in their organisation with the aim of creating awareness for gender equality issues and assisting the implementation of improvement measures.

You are interested in the outcomes of our survey? Have a look into our public Deliverable D7.11_gender aspects in biotech jobs.


New Publication at “Biotechnology & Bioengineering”

The recent publication of CARBAFIN‘s team from Graz University of Technology bridges the gap between an enzyme kinetic model considered for mechanistic research and the application of the model to predict technologically relevant reaction conditions. The paper describes a three-level hybrid modeling approach and how it can be used for systematic optimization of biocatalytic synthesis. The study provides valuable conclusions for the glucosylglycerol production from sucrose at industrial scale.

The article was published in “Biotechnology and Bioengineering” and the underlying experimental data set is also available.

Read more:

Sigg A, Klimacek M, Nidetzky B: Three-level hybrid modeling for systematic optimization of biocatalytic synthesis: a-glucosyl glycerol production by enzymatic trans-glycosylation from sucrose. 2021, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 118 (10), p4028 – 4040

Picture: Cover page of Biotechnology and Bioengineering

New Publication in “Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts”

Cellodextrin phosphorylase is one of CARBAFIN’s key enzymes that catalyses the formation of cello-oligosaccharides out of cellobiose and glucose-1-phosphate.  Soluble cello-oligosacchararides with up to 6 monomer units are of special interest, as they are relevant for food industries as dietary fibres with prebiotic function.

For a target oriented process development, a mathematical model of the enzymatic glycosylation was developed, which is described in the paper “Kinetic modeling of phosphorylase-catalyzed iterative β-1,4-glycosylation for degree of polymerization-controlled synthesis of soluble cello-oligosaccharides

As a method of choice, a hybrid model was composed out of a mechanism-based kinetical model and an empirical part that covers the self-assembly of soluble oligosaccharides into insoluble cellulose. With the help of this model, the team was able to explore the complex relationship between process conditions used and the reaction output obtained.

The data set and models represent an important step towards optimizing the biocatalytic synthesis of soluble cello-oligosaccharides in the future.

CARBAFIN Newsletter No 3

Another successful CARBAFIN year comes to an end! We have summarized all of our highlights in 2021 in our third newsletter edition and wish you a happy read!

Enjoy your Christmas holidays with your families and friends, stay healthy and have a good start into 2022!

All the best from the CARBAFIN team.


New Publication at „Microbial Cell Factories”

The CARBAFIN research team from acib has published an article in “Microbial Cell Factories”. It describes the use of a whole cell-based catalyst for the enzymatic production of glucosylglycerol, one of the main CARBAFIN target compounds. Glucosylglycerol has promising applications in cosmetic, food and feed formulations. We consider whole cell biocatalysis to be an excellent choice, because the enzyme is accumulated in large amounts inside the cell. That offers a highly active and ready-to-use sucrose phosphorylase, which is one of the key biocatalysts of the CARBAFIN glycosylation technology.

Especially, the sucrose phosphorylase from the bacterium Leuconostoc mesenteroides turned out to be a promising candidate for a whole cell-based catalyst formulation in Escherichia coli. These findings have been published and are available here.

CARBAFIN @EFIB2021 – Event Summary

EFIB2021 is over and about 50 participants have joined the CARBAFIN pre-conference workshop “The future of CARBAFIN’s glycosylation technology in industrial production processes”.

At first, participants were introduced to the project, its objectives, concepts and key results by project manager Christiane Luley (acib). Then, industrial representatives Thomas Häßler (Pfeifer & Langen), Steven Koenig (bitop) and Stefan Krawielitzki (AVA Biochem) showed different use cases of the glycosylation technology in food, cosmetics or bulk chemistry applications. But the various application fields might be even broader, which was shown by the presentations of external industry partners, Michael Merz (Nestlé), Ronny Vercauteren (Cargill) and Regis Marchand (SEPPIC).

To discuss the replication potential of CARBAFIN and future collaborations in further detail, participants came together in a world café discussion and concentrated on three topics:

  • Replication potential of CARBAFIN’s glycosylation technology
  • Requirements of life-cycle-assessments for process validations
  • Expectations of collaborations in European project consortia

Get a summary of the world café discussion here.


Join us at the CARBAFIN stakeholder workshop at EFIB 2021 in Vienna!

With respect to circular economy and the use of renewable feedstocks, the European project CARBAFIN has developed a radically new value chain for the utilization of sucrose from sugar beet biomass. Functional glycosides (eg for prebiotics or cosmetics) or platform chemicals (eg for bioplastics, biofuels or biopolymers) are important product examples and open new and economically relevant perspectives for the European sugar industry to several industrial sectors. Biocatalytic production processes were elevated to an industrial level using an integrated process design approach accompanied by environmental and economic evaluation.

In this satellite stakeholder workshop we would like to discuss the replication potential of this glycosylation technology and explore the opportunities thereof in different industries: Representatives from the cosmetic, food, feed, pharma or (bulk) chemical industry as well as scientists are welcome to identify new solutions for a bio-based re-industrialization in Europe and to discuss new ways of valorization.

Learn about CARBAFIN’s outcomes and results, find new collaboration partners and take part in our joint expert’s discussion in world café format to exchange perspectives and requirements for production routes in terms of a circular economy.

Register here!

New publication at “Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology”

The CARBAFIN team of acib and Graz, University of Technology has published a paper on continuous bioprocessing of glucosides from sucrose using the enzyme sucrose-phosphorylase. The advantage of this continuous approach is the tight interconnection of production (upstream) and purification (downstream) process steps as well as a stable operation at excellent output parameters over weeks. A crucial part of the technology is the catalyst immobilization by whole cell encapsulation in porous polymer materials. In other words, a kind of a “nanobioreactor” is created to produce the desired glucoside more efficiently.

The process paves the way for an intensified glucoside production at industrial scale and shows considerable replication potential for other glycosylation products derived from sucrose.

Read the full article and access related data sets.

Preview of Journal