keywords: Fermentation. Lignocellulose; xylitol, Xylose, Xylose Reductase
Lignocellulose is made up of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Lignocellulosic substrate can be utilized in the synthesis of certain chemicals and fuels. Cellulose and hemicellulose can be decomposed into sugars, which are the major substrate for fermentation, and through biocatalytic and chemocatalytic pathway to value added products. In this short review, updated account is analysed on various aspects of lignocellulose compounds which can be biodegraded by fungi, yeast and bacteria to produce xylitol. Xylitol is a high value sugar-alcohol produced when D-xylose (from hemicellulose fraction of lignocellulose) is reduced by enzymes and is employed in food and pharmaceutical industries. Xylitol has large number of advantageous properties, such as low-calorie sweetening power and anticariogenicity which justifies the high industrial demand for xylitol. Xylitol is used as an ideal sweetener for diabetic patients. Industrially, xylitol is manufactured by catalytic reduction of pure xylose, which has some disadvantages. This article reviews the literature on the processes for xylitol production and identifies alternative methods for improved xylitol production to compete with the current chemical process.