2 Mar 2018

Publication of a post in the blog "Science to take away"

Francisco J. Plou has published a post describing the application of enzymes in detergents in the CSIC blog "Science to take away". The aim of this blog is to promote the scientific divulgation with the collaboration of the popular newspaper "20 minutos".



22 Feb 2018

Visit of the Account Manager of Novozymes Spain

Ramiro Martínez, Account Manager of Novozymes Spain, visited the Applied Biocatalysis Group. It was a good opportunity to share the latest developments and applications of industrial enzymes, and to continue the fruitful collaboration of our group with Novozymes. 

14 Jan 2018

Special Issue “Biocatalysis in Spain"

FigureFrancisco Plou is one of the Editors of the  Special Issue “Biocatalysis in Spain:A field of success and innovation” published by the journal Biocatalysis and Biotransformation (Taylor & Francis), which covers the work of several Spanish groups in the field of biocatalysis. Thus, both research articles and reviews allow one to draw an accurate view of the state-of-the-art development of this subject in Spain.

14 Jul 2017

Paloma Santos-Moriano defends her Thesis

Paloma Santos-Moriano defended her Thesis by the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) entitled "Biocatalytic processes for the production of bioactive carbohydrates: fructooligosaccharides and chitooligosaccharides", supervised by Dr. Francisco J. Plou. She obtained the maximum qualification (Sobresaliente cum laude). The jury was formed by Dr. Jose L. Copa-Patiño (University of Alcala), Dr. Javier Moreno (CIAL, UAM-CSIC), Dr. Beatriz Gullon (University of Santiago de Compostela), Dr. Pamela Torres (Repsol) and Dr. Miguel Remacha (UAM). CONGRATULATIONS!

7 Jul 2017

Dr. Yoshihiko Hirose visits the Applied Biocatalysis Group

Dr. Yoshihiko Hirose, enzyme application consultant at Enzyme Techno (Japan), visited our laboratories. We have established a collaboration in the field of enzymatic glycosylation of bioactive polyphenols.

29 Jun 2017

Meeting of the Spanish Society of Catalysis (SECAT 2017)

Our PhD student Jose L. González-Alfonso delivered an oral presentation during the celebration of the Meeting of the Spanish Society of Catalysis (SECAT 2017, "Catalysis for a more sustainable world") held in Oviedo (26-28 June 2017). The talk was entitled "Enzymatic glycosylation of two bioactive polyphenols: hydroxityrosol and epigallocatechin gallate", by Noa Míguez, María Gimeno-Pérez, José Luis González-Alfonso, Mercedes Ramírez-Escudero, Laura Leemans, Antonio O. Ballesteros, Julia Sanz-Aparicio, María Fernández-Lobato and Francisco J. Plou.

22 Jun 2017

Participation in the Spanish Congress of Biotechnology (BIOTEC 2017)

The Applied Biocatalysis Group at CSIC has contributed to the Spanish Congress of Biotechnology (BIOTEC 2017) held in Murcia (18-21 June 2017) with one oral presentation (by Paloma Santos-Moriano) and three poster presentations (by Jose L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, Noa Miguez and Fadia Cervantes). We have presented our latest advances in the synthesis of prebiotic oligosachharides, novel carbohydrates and glycosides of plant polyphenols.

1 Apr 2017

Production of chitooligosaccharides and their bioactive properties

Several commercial enzymes were screened for chitosanolytic activity. The hydrolysis of different chitosans was followed by size exclusion chromatography (SEC-ELSD), mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF), and high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD). Neutrase 0.8L converted 10 g/L of various chitosans into mostly deacetylated oligosaccharides, yielding approximately 2.5 g/L of chitobiose, 4.5 g/L of chitotriose and 3 g/L of chitotetraose. In collaboration with the Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine "Lopez-Neyra" (CSIC), the synthesized COS were tested in vitro for their neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities, and compared with other functional ingredients, namely fructooligosaccharides.

Reference: “Enzymatic production of fully deacetylated chitooligosaccharides and their neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties”. P. Santos-Moriano, L. Fernandez-Arrojo, M. Mengibar, E. Belmonte-Reche, P. Peñalver, F.N. Acosta, P. Kidibule, A.O. Ballesteros, J.C. Morales, M. Fernandez-Lobato and F.J. Plou. Biocatalysis and Biotransformation (2017), doi: 10.1080/10242422.2017.1295231

10 Mar 2017

High school students from Cordoba (Spain) visit the Applied Biocatalysis Group

A group of students from the High School IES-Averroes (Cordoba, Spain) have visited the Applied Biocatalysis Group at the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry (CSIC). They have carried out a series of experiments related with the applications of enzymes in the food industry.

10 Oct 2016


The XVIII meeting of the LIGNOCEL Network (Biotechnology of Lignocellulolosic Materials),  took place in Jaen (October 6-7 2016), Our group presented the work “Lipase-catalyzed preparation of mono- and diesters of ferulic acid”. The meeting was very fruitful to establish new collaborations between research groups involved in the exploitation of lignocellulosic residues.

27 Sep 2016

Participation in the VI Congress of Industrial Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology

The Applied Biocatalysis Group has participated in the VI Congress of Industrial Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology (CMIBM’16) held at the University of Leon, Spain (September 12-14, 2016). The Congress was auspiced by the Spanish Society of Microbiology. Our group presented an abstract entitled "Production of galactooligosaccharides using Kluyveromyces lactis permeabilized cells: effect of entrapment in alginate"

23 Sep 2016

Dual reactor for production of chitosan oligosaccharides

Chitooligosaccharides (COS), obtained by chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of chitosan, are more soluble and exhibit enhanced biological activities compared with the polysaccharide. COS show antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiangiogenic, antitumoral, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties, among others. In this work, a chitosanolytic enzyme was covalently immobilized onto glyoxal agarose beads  and assessed for the continuous production of COS. A two-step process was proposed, in which chitosan was first hydrolyzed in a batch reactor to a viscosity that could flow through a packed-bead reactor (PBR), thus avoiding clogging of the column. This work was performed in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark

Reference: “Continuous production of chitooligosaccharides by an immobilized enzyme in a dual-reactor system”. P. Santos-Moriano, J.M. Woodley, F.J. Plou. Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic 133, 211-217 (2016), doi:10.1016/j.molcatb.2016.09.001

29 Aug 2016

Immobilization of enzymes in vinyl-sulfone silica

Most methodologies for covalent immobilization of enzymes usually take place at high pH values to enhance the nucleophilicity of protein reactive residues; however, many enzymes inactivate during the immobilization process due to their intrinsic unstability at alkaline pHs. Vinyl sulfone (VS)-activated carriers may react with several protein side-chains at neutral pHs. In this work, levansucrase -an alkaline unstable enzyme of technological interest because it forms fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and levan from sucrose- was covalently attached to VS-activated silica at pH 7.0 in a short time (5 h). The VS-activated biocatalysts showed a notable operational stability in batch reactors. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Department of Organic Chemistry at University of Granada.

Reference: “Vinyl sulfone-activated silica for efficient covalent immobilization of alkaline unstable enzymes: application to levansucrase for fructooligosaccharides synthesis”. P. Santos-Moriano, L. Monsalve-Ledesma, M. Ortega-Muñoz, L. Fernandez-Arrojo, A.O. Ballesteros, F. Santoyo-González, F.J. Plou. RSC Advances 6, 64175–64181 (2016). DOI: 10.1039/C6RA14046G

30 Jun 2016

Francisco Plou at Virginia Tech

Francisco Plou is performing a stay at the Biofuels and Carbohydrates Laboratory at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, USA), directed by Prof. Y.-H. Percival Zhang. This laboratory is a world reference in the use of multienzymatic systems with applications to the fuels, chemicals and food industries. The laboratory of Prof. Zhang belongs to the Department of Biological Systems Engineering (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences).

24 Jun 2016

Participation in Bioiberoamerica 2016

Our group has participated in the Iberoamerican Congress of Biotechnology BioIberoamerica2016, recently held in Salamanca, Spain (June 5-8 2016). Paloma Santos presented the poster "Covalent immobilization of a chitosanolytic enzyme on glyoxal agarose beads and the design of reactors for continuous production of chitooligosaccharides" and Noa Miguez presented the work "Enzymatic glycosylation of hesperetin by cyclodextrin glucanotransferase from Thermoanaerobacter sp. in presence of cosolvents"

29 Apr 2016

Symposium on "Novel tendencies and challenges in the chemical processes of XXI century" organized by UNED

It is the third time that the Applied Biocatalysis Group participates in the Symposium“Novel Tendencies and Challenges in the Chemical Processes of XXI Century" (April 27-29 2016), auspiced by the UNED (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia). Francisco Plou developed a talk entitled "Use of enzymes in sustainable chemical processes".

1 Apr 2016

"The Enzymes", divulgation book by Francisco Plou

Francisco Plou has just published the book "What we know about ...The Enzymes", a disclosure book jointly edited by CSIC and Catarata Publishers. The aim of this book is bringing the world of enzymes to readers, and show them the importance of these biological catalysts in our health and in many aspects of our daily life (food, drugs, fuels, polymers, etc.).

17 Mar 2016

Joint XII Carbohydrate Symposium / III Chemical Biology Meeting

The Applied Biocatalysis Group has participated in the XII Carbohydrate Symposium / III Chemical Biology Meeting that was held  at the "Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas" (CIB-CSIC) in Madrid, from 14th-16th March 2016. This  joint meeting has enabled communication of research embracing the interface between chemistry and biology, with special focus on modern glycosciences, Our group presented two posters in this Symposium:

"Strategies for the enzymatic glycosylation of phenolic groups to improve the bioactivity of polyphenols".  Authors: Noa Míguez, Maria Gimeno-Perez, Mercedes Ramirez-Escudero, Juan Blazquez, J. Daniel Padilla, Laura Leemans, David Piedrabuena, Lucia Fernandez-Arrojo, Georgina Sandoval, Julia Sanz-Aparicio, Maria Fernandez-Lobato, Francisco J. Plou and Antonio O. Ballesteros.

"Feasibility of the production of carbohydrate fatty acid esters from Agave tequilana fructans by enzymatic acylation". Authors: Leticia Casas-Godoy, Javier Arrizon, Daniel Arrieta, Antonio O. Ballesteros, Francisco Plou and Georgina Sandoval.