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Konjak Manno-oligosaccharides (KMOS), a group of emerging technologies and their products which will be touted soon as another major impact on pharmaceutical, health food, and nutrition industries.

An oligosaccharide is a saccharide polymer containing a small number (typically 2 to 10) of component sugars, also known as simple sugars. Oligosaccharides cannot be decomposed by enzymes, absorbed or digested by the human body. However, oligosaccharides improve gastrointestinal functions by promoting friendly and beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacteria) to naturally propagate 10 to 30 times in the human body; thus alleviating or eradicating constipation, diarrhea, and other symptoms. This is especially beneficial as nutrition is absorbed into the body mainly through the intestine where over 90% of the body’s immune cells live.

Oligosaccharides have a sweet taste similar to that of ordinary sugar. It can replace sugar directly as a sweetener or as an ingredient in other foods. Major varieties of oligosaccharides include oligo-isomaltose, fructo-oligosaccharide, galacto-oligosaccharides, oligo-xylose, stachyose, manno-oligosaccharides, and chitosan-oligo.

Manno-oligosaccharides (MOS) are oligosaccharides containing 2 to 10 mannoses, generated through mannanase hydrolysis of plant polysaccharides that contain mannan such as konjak or guar gum or extracted from yeast cell walls and coffee grounds. Aside from the physiological functions mentioned above, an outstanding feature of MOS is that it does not contain materials such as glucose, fructose, or maltose which can negatively affect people with diabetes, obesity, hyperglycemia, and tooth decay among other ailments.

MOS is not only an ideal ingredient of health food but can also be used as a functional additive in dairy products, beverages, daily foodstuff, chemical industry, medicine, and feedstuff among other applications. Health foods containing MOS as the key ingredient are mainly products that improve gastrointestinal functions by alleviating or eliminating symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. Daily foodstuff includes food people eat daily such as bread, cake, biscuits, canned food, instant noodles, chocolates and candies. Medicine may include both prescribed and over the counter medicine that are either western medicine or Chinese herbal medicine used for treating intestinal and stomach diseases.

Konjak Manno-oligosaccharides (KMOS) are produced using konjak as a raw material. Konjak or konjac is a perennial plant that grows from a large corm up to 10 inches in diameter primarily in high altitude mountainous areas. Konjac has almost no calories and is very high in fiber thus making it a popular ingredient in diet food. The dried corm of the konjac contains around 40% glucomannan, a water-soluble polysaccharide with the component sugars of mannose and glucose in a ratio of 1.6:1. This polysaccharide is hydrolyzed with mannanase and purified into KMOS. The outstanding efficacies of KMOS are:

  • Enable bifidobacteria to proliferate over 50 times in the intestinal tract, which is at least 20 times more than other oligosaccharides, while targeting exogenous pathogens such as E.coli. and salmonella in order to eliminate them. KMOS work to adjust gastric bowel functions by both enhancing beneficial bacteria and reducing harmful bacteria.
  • Enhance immunity, control blood sugar and fat, antitumor transferring, among other potential physiological functions

Therefore, KMOS can be used not only as pharmaceutical precursors, raw materials, and intermediates, but also in the makings of functional (health) foods and as functional ingredients and additives of daily foods, medicine, feed, and chemical industries. The overall efficacies of KMOS are 1 to 5 times greater than that of other MOS, which makes KMOS the most beneficial in the whole family of oligosaccharides.

BioMart takes a lead in developing and manufacturing high quality KMOS products in large scales around the world, and has achieved a monopoly in these areas of the bio-medicine and food industries.

The KMOS produced with BioMart’s patented and proprietary technologies possess many advantages and uniqueness over the oligosaccharides or MOS produced from other sources or by other methods. This positions the company as an undisputed leader in the field of oligosaccharides and high-end oligosaccharides.

(1) Core technologies and related patents

A. Construction of enzyme-producing strain and fermentative enzyme-producing technology:
High yield strain TQS6 used in producing mannanase is constructed using advanced biotechnologies in protein, genetic, and enzymatic engineering. This strain exceeds international standards by producing enzyme rapidly, having short culturing cycles, and having high specificity and vitality.

B. Unique sugar chain structure and polymerization degree of sugar molecules were formed by the patented enzyme acting on konjac:
Using konjac as the raw material to create a series of biochemical reactions catalyzed by our patented mannanase forms various monomer sugar chain structures. These monomer sugar chain structures have polymerization degree of 4 to 7 sugars as the center, covering 5 to 6 sugar molecules polymerization degree with the best physiological activities. This gives KMOS unique physiological functions and makes it the best in the oligosaccharides family.

C. The scientific method used in producing high purity KMOS (P95) products was adapted from the enzymatic technology used to hydrolyze plant polysaccharide into mannosan and the membrane and ion exchange technology used in highly efficient purification.

D. The core technologies mentioned above have been granted two patents:
Patent 1: A production method for preparation of a neutral beta konjac mannanase;
Patent 2: A method for producing high purity KMOS.

E. With new developments and improvements of the core technologies, technics, and products, five new PCT international/US patents have been applied recently:
Patent 1: A bacillus subtilis of producing β-mannanase efficiently and its enzymatic products and their production methods.
Patent 2: The production methods for preparation of high purity manno-oligosaccharides by enzymolysis of semi-cellulose.
Patent 3: A composition of gastrointestinal health factors based on the manno-oligosaccharides.
Patent 4: A composition for improving gastrointestinal function to aid to lower blood sugar and lipid.
Patent 5: A nutritional supplement and its production method for improving gastrointestinal function to regulate the endocrine.

(2). Uniqueness of our KMOS products

A. Our KMOS is the only oligosaccharides that combine with exogenous pathogens such as E.coli. and salmonella in order to eliminate them, while simultaneously enabling friendly and beneficial bacteria to propagate over 50 times in the intestinal tract (at least 20 times more than other oligosaccharides). Therefore, it adjusts gastric bowel functions by enhancing beneficial bacteria and reducing harmful bacteria.
Many humanitarian catastrophes have occurred due to uncontrollable outbreaks of intestinal tract diseases. Recently, an enterohemorrhagic E.coli (EHEC) outbreak occurred in Europe, particularly in Germany, resulting in the death of over a hundred people and creating social panic. Our KMOS has unique advantages in enhancing beneficial bacteria and in inhibiting and killing those harmful bacteria such as EHEC endogenously versus the external use of antibiotics. KMOS will contribute greatly to human health if it is used widely around the world in health foods and as an ingredient or additive in daily foods.

B. Our KMOS is the only oligosaccharides that can be used as precursors, raw materials, or intermediates for drugs such as lentinan and mannatide. Our KMOS is also the only oligosaccharides that can be used as intermediates and additives of the bio-chemical reaction process, a breakthrough for oligosaccharides’ application in medicine.
Due to its unique physical and chemical properties, our KMOS possesses full monopoly in the applications of known pharmaceutical products. KMOS’ applications in medicine are primarily as a raw material (or intermediate) in the production of polysaccharides drugs and as a basic material in the production of metal-oligosaccharides derivatives.

C. Our KMOS is the only oligosaccharide that can be easily added into beer, wine, chocolate, coffee, instant noodle, top grade milk powder, and beverages among other foods without changing the color, taste, or texture of the original foods. This is a result of KMOS’ low dosage, high purity, and high biological activities, which not only improve the quality of the products, avoid the homogeneity of competition, but also create a new opportunity for profit growth.

Since 2002, our company has developed KMOS by applying neutral enzymes with purity reaching 95%. With advanced technologies and mature and reliable process techniques, the company has produced an industrial scale of 50 metric tons annually consisting of four series of KMOS products: pharmaceutical grade P95KMOS, food and chemical grade P90KMOS, regular grade P80KMOS, and functional health foods. There has been a stable product quality, controllable production cost, and generated annual revenue of $5 million USD, which has laid a solid foundation for expanding the scale of production and has established technical and economic advantages in the global MOS products market. Furthermore, prices of our four series high quality KMOS products are very competitive, averaging $54,000 per ton.

Our technologies and achievements have been recognized by the industries, peers and governments:

A. Since 2003, KMOS capsules and oral liquid have obtained status approval as being labeled health foods by the Ministry of Health Bureau in China; KMOS as a feed additive has obtained production license from the Ministry of Agriculture in China; and our products have obtained ISO 9001:2000 International Quality System Authentication.

B. Since 2004, KMOS products have obtained many grants from national and provincial governments and top awards and recognition in the konjac and oligosaccharides industries in China such as the first in “China National Key New Product”, the first in the “National Torch Project”, the first in the “National Innovation Fund Project”, and the first in the “Special National Debt for Deep Processing of Agricultural Products”.

C. Since 2005, studies on high purity MOS have won second prize in the “Hubei Provincial Science and Technology Progress Awards” and the gold medal from the “Sixteenth National Invention Congress”. The MOS series of products have also won the gold prize in the “Third National Agricultural Expo”. The feed level of MOS products have won the unique feature prize in the “Fourth National Agricultural Expo”, while the high purity MOS products have won the gold medal in the “Second China Private Enterprise Innovation Technology Achievements”.

With a highly innovative research and development team in the US high-tech hub, BioMart is capitalizing on its core technologies in KMOS, continuing to create new derivative products from KMOS and related technologies, and working towards diversifying its core technology to other emerging directions and fields:

A. Based on the achievements of KMOS products, we have realized a major breakthrough in the comprehensive development and application of shrimp and crab shells used as raw materials. As such, four invention patents for these technologies have been granted. Major products such as chitin, chitosan, and shell oligosaccharides are important intermediates for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries with a good market prospect and high profit projections. The technologies have two major competitive advantages. Waste materials are recycled by being used in the production of valuable commercial goods. The distribution of 300 to 1500D narrow molecular weight of shell oligosaccharides enhances immunity and helps to prevent anti-viral infections and anti-tumor metastasis, which greatly expands its applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

B. BioMart is also focusing on the development and application of enzyme engineering to produce cellulose-based biomass energy. Currently, six patents are pending for this technology. Major products are fuel ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-plastic, and a series of derivative products. Their comprehensive economic benefits are remarkable and the development prospect is brilliant.

The innovative technology of "fuel ethanol" is a new achievement from the multilayer applications of enzyme technologies, which has two major competitive advantages. The sources of the raw materials are more widely available and hence the cost is greatly reduced. More importantly, it greatly alleviates environmental impact and energy consumption pressures caused by chemical methods currently dominating in the world. Its energy utility ratio (1:1.5) is higher than the current ratio (1:1.39) in the United States.

Currently, bio-diesel is produced using lipidic raw materials (e.g. oil plants) such as transgenic soybeans in the U.S., rapeseeds in Europe, palm oil in southeastern Asian countries, and castor-oil plants in Brazil through thermo-chemical lipid transforming synthesis. Thus, exploiting oil plant resources is becoming the key issue in future bio-diesel development. Using the current technology, these plants account for 70% to 85% of the total cost in making bio-diesel resulting in low profit margins and lack of market competitiveness.

BioMart is currently developing enzymatic technologies to produce bio-diesel by applying purpose-built oil-producing microbes on industrial waste, crop straws to ferment and synthesize lipids. By utilizing these cheap and abundant raw materials, the cost of producing bio-diesel will be reduced by 25% and there will be no environmental impact during the production process. The economic and environmental benefits of such innovative technologies would be revolutionary.