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Monoliths for the purification of whey protein-dextran conjugates

M. R. Etzel, T. Bund

Journal of Chromatography A, 1218 (2011) 2445-2450

Proteins conjugated to neutral biopolymers are of keen interest to the food and pharmaceutical industries. Conjugated proteins are larger and more charge shielded than un-reacted proteins, making purification difficult using conventional beaded chromatographic supports because of slow mass transfer rates, weak binding, and viscous solutions. Past methods developed for pharmaceuticals are unsuitable for foods. In this work, a food-grade whey protein–dextran conjugate was purified from a feed solution also containing un-reacted protein and dextran using either a column packed with 800 mL of a beaded support that was specifically designed for purification of conjugated proteins or an 8 mL tube monolith. The monolith gave a similar dynamic binding capacity as the beaded support (4–6 g/L), at a 42-fold greater mass productivity, and 48-fold higher flow rate, albeit at somewhat lower conjugate purity. Performance of the monolith did not depend on flow rate. In conclusion, monoliths were found to be well suited for the purification of whey protein–dextran conjugates.

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