Enzyme activity of β-galactosidase from Kluyveromyces lactis and Aspergillus oryzae on simulated conditions of human gastrointestinal system

  • Alessandra Bosso
  • Cínthia Hoch Batista de Souza
  • Hélio Hiroshi Suguimoto
Keywords: Lactase. Hydrolysis. Lactose intolerance. Gastrointestinal tract


An alternative to relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance is the intake of the enzyme β-galactosidase in pharmaceutical dosage forms. The ability of β-galactosidase produced by Kluyveromyces lactis and Aspergillus oryzae to hydrolyze lactose in simulated conditions of the human gastrointestinal tract was investigated. The experiment was carried out in the optimum temperature for each enzyme activity, 40 and 55°C, respectively, and at the normal human body temperature (37°C) at concentrations of 1.5, 3.0, and 5.0 g/L (enzyme from A. oryzae) or mL/L (enzyme from K. lactis). Both enzymes were completely inactivated under simulated gastric conditions (pH 2). When the enzymes were subjected to simulated small intestine conditions (pH 7.4), lactose hydrolysis has occurred, but at 37°C the percentage was lower than that under the optimal temperatures. At concentrations of 1.5, 3.0, and 5.0 mL/L the enzyme from K. lactis hydrolyzed 76.63%, 88.91% and 94.80% of lactose at 40°C, and 55.99%, 80.91% and 81.53% at 37°C, respectively. In contrast, the enzyme from A. oryzae hydrolyzed 7.11%, 16.18% and 21.29% at 55°C, and 8.4%, 11.85% and 16.43% at 37°C. It was observed that under simulated intestinal conditions, the enzyme from K. lactis was more effective on lactose hydrolysis as compared to the enzyme from A. oryzae. Considering the findings of this study, it is extremely necessary to use an enteric coating on β-galactosidase capsules so that this enzyme is released only in the small intestine, which is its site of action, thus not suffering the action of the stomach pH.

Research Article