KBFI-poolne partnerprojekt TÜ poolt taotletud ja koordineeritavas projektis (ETIS: projekt SLOMR12215T, vastutav täitja T. Alamäe, TÜ). Projekti eesmärgiks on uudsete levaansukraaskatalüsaatorite disain ja kasutamine funktsionaalsete toidulisandite tootmiseks. The growing awareness of the relationship between the diet and health has led to an increasing demand for functional food, i.e. food made healthier. Our application ´Functional Food Ingredients ( FFI ) is directly related to biotechnology. It will implement our previously obtained knowledge on microbiology, biochemistry, enzymology, biosafety, fermentation and food technologies for the development of ingredients for functional food. We will use a bacterial exoenzyme (levansucrase) isolated and characterized by us earlier. We have demonstrated that it is a stable enzyme of high catalytic activity and it synthesizes fructooligosaccharides (FOS), heterooligofructans (HOF) and levan from ´cheap´ substrates such as sucrose and molasses. Pure levansucrase protein (wild-type and engineered) will be used to enzymatically produce polysaccharide (levan) and FOS mixtures that will be analyzed for composition of different saccharidic products. These poly- and oligofructans will be evaluated for their assumingly elevated potential as (i) prebiotic substrates for beneficial gut bacteria such as lactobacilli, (ii) stimulators of the immune system and compounds with anticancer activity to be studied in mice and (iii) coating/modifying material to enhance the efficacy of mineral food supplements in a nanoparticulate form. For that, the effects of enzymatically synthesized levan and levan-type FOS will be compared with those already recognized as functional food supplements (e.g., inulin and inulin-type FOS). Experiments with immobilized original levansucrase preparations and its mutant variants will be carried out to study the feasibility of the catalyst for industrial applications. The FFI Project is also expected to contribute to solving of the crystal structure of the levansucrase catalyst that has been started in collaboration of NCBI (T. Alamäe) group and Dr. Mancheno's group in Madrid. The development of the enzyme catalyst and analysis of biosynthetic products of the enzyme will be mostly addressed by the Applicant (UT, IMCB) and Partner 1 (NICPB). The FOS preparations of characterized composition will be analyzed for their ability to support growth of probiotic lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria as well as technological properties and suitability, stability and processability as functional additives for dairy food matrices by Partner 2 (TUT) in cooperation with Partners 3 (CCFFT) and a food production company from Estonia (Partner 4).