How is dextran made?

Dextran is a complex polysaccharide made up of glucose molecules. It's commonly produced by certain strains of bacteria, especially members of the genus Leuconostoc and Streptococcus. Here's a simplified overview of the process:

1. Selection of Microorganism: 
Bacterial strains capable of producing dextran are selected. These bacteria are typically found in natural sources like soil, water, and plant material.

2. Fermentation: 
The selected bacteria are cultured in a suitable growth medium containing glucose or sucrose as a carbon source. The fermentation process takes place under controlled conditions of temperature, pH, and oxygen supply.

3. Polysaccharide Synthesis: 
During fermentation, the bacteria metabolize the glucose or sucrose and produce dextran as a byproduct. Dextran is synthesized by the enzymatic activity of various glycosyltransferases present in the bacterial cells.

4. Harvesting: 
Once the fermentation is complete and the desired amount of dextran is produced, the bacterial cells are separated from the fermentation broth. This can be done using methods like centrifugation or filtration.

5. Purification: 
The dextran-containing solution obtained from the fermentation broth is then purified to remove impurities such as proteins, nucleic acids, and other cellular debris. Purification techniques may include precipitation, chromatography, or ultrafiltration.

6. Drying and Packaging: 
Finally, the purified dextran is dried to obtain a powdered form, which is then packaged for storage and distribution.

This process can vary depending on the specific strain of bacteria used, the intended application of the dextran, and the desired characteristics of the final product.