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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 269-287

Published online 2010-01-16

Production of novel bioactive compounds by enzymes, and their application to food

Takashi Kometani

Health Science Laboratory, Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan

Abstract: Recently, people have been paying greater attention to their health and, as a result, the need to use physiologically functional foods was found on the market. For these reasons, the market size of “foods for specified health use” (FOSHU) in Japan has grown and was approximately ¥700 billion in 2008. Many enzymes such as amylases and proteases have been used in food manufacturing because of their diversity, specificity, and mild condition in reaction. The aim of this investigation was the production of novel bioactive compounds by three kinds of transglycosylation reaction of the amylolytic enzymes, and the research and development of physiologically functional foods using these compounds. Phosphoryl oligosaccharides of calcium (POs-Ca) are a complex with Ca and phosphoryl oligosaccharides prepared from potato starch by a hydrolysis (transglycosylation to H2O) of amylolytic enzymes. The chewing gum included POs-Ca prevented dental caries in humans. Highly branched cyclic dextrin (HBCD) was produced from amylopectin by branching enzyme (intramolecular transglycosylation), which had a relatively narrow molecular-weight distribution compared with commercially available dextrins. The sports drink containing HBCD enhanced swimming endurance in mice and humans. α-Glycosylhesperidin (G-Hsp) was produced from starch and hesperidin, a flavonoid found abundantly in citrus fruits, by the intermolecular transglycosylation using cyclodextrin glucanotransferase. Oral administration of G-Hsp improved rheumatoid arthritis in mice and humans, and poor blood circulation in women. In this study, we looked to prove that this enzymatic modification technique was useful in creating unique and effective physiologically functional foods. These functional foods are expected to improve the health and quality of life of many people.