Osama O Ibrahim

Osama O Ibrahim

Consultant Biotechnology
Bio Innovation

Title: Bioprocess for manufacturing the newly low calorie sweetener D-tagatose


Osama Ibrahim is a highly-experienced Principal Research Scientist with particular expertise in the field of microbiology, molecular biology, food safety, and bioprocessing for both pharmaceutical and food ingredients. He is knowledgeable in microbial screening /culture improvement; molecular biology and fermentation research for antibiotics, enzymes, therapeutic proteins, organic acids and food flavors; Biochemistry for metabolic pathways and enzymes kinetics, enzymes immobilization, bioconversion, and Analytical Biochemistry. Dr. Ibrahim was external research liaison for Kraft Foods with Universities for research projects related to molecular biology and microbial screening and holds three bioprocessing patents. In January 2005, he accepted an early retirement offer from Kraft Foods and in the same year he formed his own biotechnology company providing technical and marketing consultation for new startup biotechnology and food companies.


D-tagatose is a monosaccharide differs from D-fructose in the positioning of the hydroxyl group on the fourth carbon. It is 92% as sweet as sucrose but has less than half the calories of sucrose (it provides approximately 1.5 kcal/g to the diet). D-tagatose is naturally present at very low level in pasteurized milk, yogurt, cheese and some fruits. Functional uses of D-tagatose are as food additives, sweetener, texturizer, stabilizer, humectants and food/pharmaceutical formulations. It provides several health benefits to consumer such as does not promote tooth decay, and attenuates a glycemic response. D-tagatose is produced from sugar lactose in milk or cheese whey by two-steps process involving acid or enzymatic hydrolysis of the disaccharide lactose to D-galactose and D-glucose, following by enzymatic isomerization of D-galactose to D-tagatose using free or immobilized enzyme L-arabinose isomerase. The final product is a highly purified crystal products. Production of the enzyme L-arabinose isomerase, bioprocess for the production of D-tagatose from cheese whey, regulatory aspects for D-tagatose applications in foods and beverages will be presented.