Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Stabilisation of hydrolytic enzymes by chemical modification with ionic polysaccharides

Reynaldo VILLALONGA SANTANA researcher laureate

°1970 Cuba
Licence in chemistry, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la Habana, Cuba, 1993

Estabilización de enzimas hidrolíticas por modificación covalente con polisacaridos ionicos

Science and technology play a basic role in human development in general and should focus increasingly – directly and indirectly – on improving the standard of living in Third World Countries.
One promising field of research and development relates to the use of sustainable technologies for the production of foods, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, based upon renewable resources, provided by agriculture.
In this context, the development and use of enzymes as industrial biocatalysts (green chemistry) should be implemented as an alternative for chemical processes, which generally have a negative impact on the environment and depend heavily on fossile resources.
The research work of R. Villalonga Santana presents a main contribution to the implementation of this concept. He has developed new methods for the stabilisation of several (commercially) important enzymes (trypsin, α-amylase, invertase), used in the food industry. This will allow for a wider application, cheaper processing and clean technology-concept.
His principle of enzyme stabilisation can be applied to other enzymes, to be used as biocatalysts in other industrial sectors, such as fine chemistry, pharmacy, agriculture and in environmental technology.
The implementation of this concept in the above-mentioned sectors will also be of great benefit to Third World Countries, in the sense that it will contribute to improved food processing, reduce malnutrition, upgrade agricultural resources and lower the environmental impact.
The scientific work of Reynaldo Villalonga Santana therefore fully deserves the Development Co-operation Prize 2001.

report by Prof. Erick Vandamme, Department of biochemical and microbial technology, Laboratory for industrial microbiology and biocatalysis, Faculty of agricultural and applied agricultural sciences, Universiteit Gent, Belgium