472. Quantitative at-line monitoring of enzymatic hydrolysis using benchtop diffusion nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Benchtop diffusion nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used to perform quantitative monitoring of enzymatic hydrolysis. The study aimed to test the feasibility of the technology to characterize enzymatic hydrolysis processes in real time. Diffusion ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) was used to measure the signal intensity and apparent self-diffusion constant of solubilized protein in hydrolysate. The NMR technique was tested on an enzymatic hydrolysis reaction of red cod, a lean white fish, by the endopeptidase alcalase at 50oC. Hydrolysate samples were manually transferred from the reaction vessel to the NMR equipment. Measurement time was approximately 3 min per time point. The signal intensity from the DOSY experiment was used to measure protein concentration and the apparent self-diffusion constant was converted into an average molecular weight and an estimated degree of hydrolysis. These values were plotted as a function of time and both the rate of solubilization and the rate of protein breakdown could be calculated. In addition to being rapid and noninvasive, DOSY using benchtop NMR spectroscopy has an advantage compared with other enzymatic hydrolysis characterization methods as it gives a direct measure of average protein size; many functional properties of proteins are strongly influenced by protein size. Therefore, a method to give protein concentration and average size in real time will allow operators to more tightly control production from enzymatic hydrolysis. Although only one type of material was tested, it is anticipated that the method should be applicable to a broad variety of enzymatic hydrolysis feedstocks.