Physicochemical Properties of Xylitol Crystals from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches Hydrolysate

Efri Mardawati, Nurul Annazhifah, Nandi Sukri, - Triyuliana, Edy Suryadi, Budi Mandra Harahap


Xylitol, a low-calorie sugar made up of five carbon atoms, had the valuable characteristics suitably applied for pharmaceutical and food industries. This sugar can be produced from oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) through hydrolysis and followed by fermentation. The xylitol in the fermentation broth requires the downstream process to obtain the final product with high purity and yield. Among a series of xylitol downstream process, crystallization becomes a critical step since this process determines the properties of final products. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of evaporation temperature (55°C and 70°C) and seeding addition (0%, 0.1%, 0.5%, 1 %) in the crystallization step on the physicochemical properties of xylitol crystals obtained from the OPEFB hydrolysate. The main evaluation criteria were crystal contents, purity, melting point, water content, hygroscopicity, solubility, caloric content, and crystal xylitol yield. The result showed that the crystal form obtained was relatively sticky and had lower purity than commercial ones because the concentration of xylitol solution increased after evaporation. The differences of physicochemical properties of the crystals such as the purity, porosity, yield and crystal form were influenced by evaporation temperature. The crystals formed by 70°C evaporation temperature produced the crystals with higher caloric value and purity, but it had lower hygroscopicity and moisture content than crystals formed by 55°C. However, the percentage of seeding gave an insignificant impact on xylitol crystal properties.


crystallization; oil palm empty fruit bunches; seeding; temperature; xylitol.

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