prof. dr. Desmet Tom
An innovative synthesis of carbohydrate structures gives access to new products with food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications
Sugar increasingly has a negative reputation because of it contributes to the obesity pandemic. However, not all carbohydrates have a high caloric content and some are beneficial for human health as they can train our immune system or stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut. Furthermore, specific carbohydrates can also improve the properties of other molecules if they are joined together as glycoconjugates. We are developing such carbohydrate structures with glycosyl transferases as biocatalysts. In addition, activated donor substrates for these enzymes (sugar phosphates and nucleotides) are made available.
The cost-effective synthesis of carbohydrate structures gives access to new products with applications in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Examples include sweeteners, prebiotics, anti-oxidants, flavours and fragrances.