Technical and economic analysis of industrial production of lactose-derived prebiotics with focus on galacto-oligosaccharides

Felipe Scott*, Carlos Vera, Raúl Conejeros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are the most relevant prebiotics synthesized from lactose. During the last decades, a number of processes have been reported for its industrial production using β-galactosidase as catalyst. However, economic and technical analyses are seldom published. This chapter analyzes a number of processes for GOS production considering two sources of β-galactosidase and several purification strategies from a technical and economic point of view. Among the purification alternatives, simulated moving bed chromatography and removal of unwanted mono and disaccharides by bioconversion with yeast are included. Process alternatives are compared within a common price framework using the minimum product selling price. Results show that the calculated minimum selling prices are well below the market prices for GOS, thus leaving room for marketing and distribution costs. Furthermore, the integration of GOS production to an existing dairy industry is analyzed focusing in plant capacity, installed equipment and market lactose and whey prices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLactose-Derived Prebiotics
Subtitle of host publicationA Process Perspective
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780128027455
ISBN (Print)9780128027240
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Investment costs
  • Operational costs
  • Prebiotics minimum selling price
  • Prebiotics techno-economic analysis
  • Selective fermentations
  • Simulated moving bed chromatography


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