M. M. W. Etschmann, C. Nacke, R. Walisko, J. Schrader
Volatile carotenoid cleavage products are of great commercial interest as aroma compounds. While tremendous advancements in understanding genetics and biochemistry of enzymatic carotenoid cleavage have been achieved during the last decade, investigations towards a future biotechnological application of these enzymes have been rare to date. Here we present organophilic pervaporation (OP) as a promising membrane technique for in-situ removal and selective enrichment of the volatile and hydrophobic β-ionone from aqueous in vitro reaction systems with Arabidopsis thaliana carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 (AtCCD1). This membrane technique uses homogeneous silicone membranes for the selective enrichment of hydrophobic compounds from aqeuous solutions, here in enzymatic reaction systems. The resulting permeate is a highly concentrated aqueous solution of the product which facilitates downstream processing. Successful proofs-of-concept for coupling 8′-apo-β-caroten-8′-al and beta-carotene cleavage with OP will be given which also reveal the need for further optimization.