Lahore- Scientists of Institute of Agricultural Sciences including Dr. Nasir Ahmad, Dr. Muhammad Saleem Haider and School of Biological Sciences Dr. Naeem Rashid, Dr. Muhammad Akhtar have discovered a novel thermo-acidophilic enzyme. Since the last three decades, scientists around the globe were in search of efficient enzymes that could simplify the process of starch hydrolysis for glucose and maltose production.

It is worth mentioning that there is not even a single unit of enzyme production in Pakistan. Hence there is great potential in this field. With the support of public and private organizations efficiency of this excellent enzyme may be further improved. Mass scale production of it will not only suffice our own needs but can also help to earn a lot of foreign exchange.

This novel enzyme can efficiently hydrolyze starch into glucose and maltose syrups in a single step and in a simpler way, in the absence of any other enzyme. Wonderful features of the enzyme resulted in the publication of US PATENT titled; “Single Step Liquefaction and Saccharification of Corn Starch Using an Acidophilic, Calcium Independent and Hyperthermophilic Pullulanase” (United States Patent Pub. No. US 2014/0227744 A1 published on 14/08/2014; Funded (US $ 11000) by Higher Education Commission).

Dr Nasir Ahmad, the first author of patent, is an experienced Food Technologist. This marvelous job was done by Dr. Ahmad during his PhD research (2005-2011) at School ofBiological Sciences, Punjab University. During this period, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Haider and Prof. Dr Naeem Rashid were his supervisors. It is worth mentioning that all the work was completed within Pakistan using own resources. Even six month research training in a technologically advanced country under HEC’s International Research Support Initiative Program was also sacrificed to retain this national asset.

Dr Nasir Ahmad started his PhD in 2005 under HEC’s Indigenous 5000 PhD Fellowship Program. Previously he has served at various food industries in quality assurance/production departments. Since December 2011, he is serving as Assistant Professor Food Technology at Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore. This nice effort of PU scientists will simplify the industrial process of glucose production and in turn greatly benefit our country’s economy. 

The authors of patent have highly appreciated the Higher Education Commission, Pakistanfor provision of funds during research and patent publication fee.