Monastrell grape skins show a high percentage of galactose, likely due to low β-galactosidase activity. Little is known about the characteristics of this enzyme. A simple method to extract and partially purify β-galactosidase from grape berry skin is presented. The kinetic properties of this enzyme are comparable to those of β-galactosidase from other fruits. In this method Triton X-114 (a non-ionic detergent) has a double effect: solubilizing skin components to liberate the enzyme and removing most phenols and hydrophobic proteins, giving rise to a 56-fold increase in specific activity. The method proposed may be useful to easily extract and partially purify this enzyme during grape berry ripening.
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