One-pot synthesis of sweetening syrup from lactose

Shouyun Cheng, Lloyd E. Metzger, Sergio I. Martínez-Monteagudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Lactose has become the main byproduct of many dairy products and ingredients. Current applications of lactose are insufficient to use the recovered lactose from manufacturing operations. Here we exemplified a new process for converting aqueous lactose into a sweeting syrup via one-pot synthesis. The synthesis consisted of two-steps: (1) enzymatic hydrolysis of lactose and (2) catalytic isomerization over MgO/SiO2. The hydrolysis of lactose over β-galactosidase converted 95.77 ± 0.67% of lactose into glucose and galactose. The catalytic isomerization was performed over MgO/SiO2 with different MgO loadings (10–40 wt.%). A battery of tests was conducted to characterize the different catalysts, including surface properties, basicity, and microstructure. The one-pot synthesis, enzymatic hydrolysis and catalytic isomerization over 20%-MgO/SiO2, converted 99.3% of lactose into a sweetening syrup made of glucose (30.48%), galactose (33.51%), fructose (16.92%), D-tagatose (10.54%), and lactulose (3.62%). The outcomes of this research present an opportunity for expanding the utilization of lactose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2730
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Martinez-Monteagudo thanks Don Grindstaff for his fruitful discussions throughout this work. This work has been made possible through the financial support of Dairy Management Inc. (H007141201) and partial support from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (HATCH project SD00H607-16).


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