Caister Academic Press

Levan: Applications and Perspectives

Soon Ah Kang, Ki-Hyo Jang, Jeong-Woo Seo, Ki Ho Kim, Young Heui Kim, Dina Rairakhwada, Mi Young Seo, Jae Ok Lee, Sang Do Ha, Chul-Ho Kim and Sang-Ki Rhee
from: Microbial Production of Biopolymers and Polymer Precursors: Applications and Perspectives (Edited by: Bernd H. A. Rehm). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Levan, a homopolysaccharide which is composed of D-fructofuranosyl residues joined by 2,6 with multiple branches by 2,1 linkages has great potential as a functional biopolymer in foods, feeds, cosmetics, and the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Levan can be used as food or a feed additive with prebiotic and hypocholesterolemic effects. Levan is also shown to exert excellent cell-proliferating, skin moisturizing, and skin irritation-alleviating effects as a blending component in cosmetics. Levan derivatives such as sulfated, phosphated, or acetylated levans are asserted to be anti-AIDS agents. In addition, levan is used as a coating material in a drug delivery formulation. In addition, levan has a number of industrial applications such as a surfactant for household use due to its excellent surface-active properties, a glycol/levan aqueous two-phase system for the partitioning of proteins, etc. However, there are some limitations for the industrial applications of levan due to its weak chemical stability of in solution and the complex process to purify levan. Once the limitations are solved, the market for levan will gradually increase in the various fields read more ...
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