Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) chromatography is a continuous purification technique that has higher throughput and requires less solvent than regular batch chromatography. Even for difficult separations, it can achieve high yield and high purity at a reasonable production rate.
SMB is a chromatographic technique based on a flow of liquid moving countercurrent to a constant flow of solid (stationary phase). Countercurrent flow enhances the potential for the separation and, hence, makes the process more efficient. It also allows a continuous flow of feed material to be separated, which improves the throughput of the equipment compared to traditional batch chromatography.
Tagatose is manufactured starting from Milk whey, which is major source of lactose. Lactose is hydrolyzed using enzymatic beads into monosaccharaides, Glucose and Galactose. Unconverted lactose, salts can be separated from sugar mixture using Ion-exchange SMB process. Sugar mixture is then separated using ISOSEP SMB unit consisting Ion exchange resin that efficiently separates high purity Glucose and Galactose as product streams, (95-99 wt. % purity) with high recovery. Glucose stream can be concentrated and commercialized as high purity Glucose syrup whereas Galactose stream is enzymatically/chemically isomerized to Tagatose. TGSEP SMB unit, available from Orochem Technologies Inc., can separate Tagatose at 95-99 wt. % purity and high concentrations as well.