Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Chemistry Central Journal and Chemistry Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Enhanced recovery of alkaline protease from fish viscera by phase partitioning and its application

Sunantha Ketnawa1, Soottawat Benjakul2, Tau Chuan Ling3, Oscar Martínez-Alvarez4 and Saroat Rawdkuen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Program of Food Technology, School of Agro-Industry, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand

2 Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Agro-Industry, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand

3 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia

4 Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC), Spanish National Research Council, José Antonio Novais 10, Madrid 28040, Spain

For all author emails, please log on.

Chemistry Central Journal 2013, 7:79  doi:10.1186/1752-153X-7-79

Published: 30 April 2013



Too many different protein and enzyme purification techniques have been reported, especially, chromatographic techniques. Apart from low recovery, these multi-step methods are complicated, time consuming, high operating cost. So, alternative beneficially methods are still required. Since, the outstanding advantages of aqueous two phase system (ATPS) such as simple, low cost, high recovery and scalable, ATPS have been used to purify various enzymes. To improve purification efficiency, parameters affected to enzyme recovery or purity was investigated. The objectives of the present study were to optimize of alkaline protease recovery from giant catfish fish viscera by using ATPS and to study of hydrolytic patterns against gelatin.


Using 70% (w/w) crude enzyme extract (CE) in system (15% PEG2000-15% sodium citrate) provided the highest recovery, PF and KE. At unmodified pH (8.5) gave the best recovery and PF with compare to other pHs of the system. The addition of 1% (w/w) NaCl showed the recovery (64.18%), 3.33-fold and 15.09 of KE compared to the system without NaCl. After addition of 10% (w/w) sodium citrate in the second ATPS cycle, the highest protease recovery (365.53%) and PF (11.60-fold) were obtained. Thus, the top phase from the system was subjected to further studied. The protein bands with molecular weights (MWs) of 20, 24, 27, 36, 94 and 130 kDa appeared on the protein stained gel and also exhibited clear zone on casein-substrate gel electrophoresis. The β, α1, α2 of skin gelatin extensively degraded into small molecules when treated with 10 units of the extracted alkaline protease compared to those of the level of 0.21 units of Flavourzyme.


Repetitive ATPS is the alternative strategy to increase both recovery and purity of the alkaline protease from farmed giant catfish viscera. Extracted alkaline protease exposed very high effectiveness in gelatin hydrolysis. It is suggested that the alkaline protease from this fish viscera can further be used in protein hydrolysate production.

Graphical abstract