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25.05.2020 | Capillary electrophoresis successfully analyzes highly complex samples from fermentation


May, 2020 – Denmark. The world’s leading HMOs producer, Glycom has been intensively using Lumex Instruments’ Capel capillary electrophoresis (CE) systems for the routine analysis of the fermentation liquid.

Glycom has purchased its first Capel CE system to be used in the R&D lab for the determination of inorganic anions and some organic acids in fermentation liquid. The company is the world's leading supplier in the Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), complex carbohydrates that exist naturally in large quantities in human breast milk. Glycom produces HMOs by fermentation with recombinant technologies. These oligosaccharides are of utmost importance for the infant health and thus must be added to the artificial baby food if a baby is not breastfed.

During the fermentation, the monitoring of the inorganic anions and organic acids is very important to ensure the correct way of the whole process. Among these compounds are phosphate, acetate, chloride, sulfate, glutamate, and some others. For example, the elevated values of acetic acid can indicate certain deviations in the technological process, phosphate level is of utmost importance for the microorganisms living, etc. However, the challenge here is the unique complexity of such samples with a lot of proteins and fatty acids, drastically limiting the applicability of any other methods for their investigation. On the contrary, CE appeared to be very well suited for this challenge. Lumex Instruments analytical protocol for the determination of inorganic anions with some organic acids (Anions Analysis Chemical Kit) used by Glycom, was developed in a way, that the target compounds migrate earlier than the rest of the sample. Besides some certain additives to the electrolyte buffer prevent sorption of matrix components to the capillary wall, thus ensuring the highest level of reproducibility and precision of the analysis.

Below you see the typical example of such analysis, done on Capel CE system. There is no any special sample pretreatment, just dilution and centrifugation. 

In addition to the quantification of anions and organic acids in fermentation liquids, Glycom also determines inorganic cations and some amines using another Lumex Instruments developed protocol, Cations Analysis Chemical Kit, which successfully deals with the analysis of such complicated matrixes. Both kits are now regularly used in Glycom analytical labs.

Recently, the company has extended its Capel equipment complex to be able to handle with different analytical tasks and large amounts of samples.