Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing

Research Leader: Dr S Malgas

The Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing laboratory is focused on driving biorefinery for the bioeconomy through enzyme biotechnology. The laboratory focusses specifically on the application of enzymes and microorganisms in the food and feed sector, the production of fine chemicals and nutraceuticals from agricultural-derived plant waste. Industrial scaling-up of the research conducted by the laboratory would ultimately contribute to the development of sustainable processes, job creation and the production of value-added products, while avoiding the untenable disposal of agro-industrial wastes. Furthermore, the laboratory participates in projects involved in the testing of these agroindustrial waste derived phytochemicals as prebiotics, antioxidants, and antidiabetic and anti-obesity leads to manage life-style diseases and overall human health.

Team 2023

Research Leader


Dr Samkelo Malgas
Google Scholar
Research Gate

Postdoctoral Fellows
 Dr Itumeleng Baloyi    
PhD  Students
Lebohang Moloyi Sana Samson Kadima Tshiyoyo
MSc Students

Kamogelo Maluleke Marni Oberholzer  
Hons Students
Rosariah Tereze    



  • Dr Mpho Mafa, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • Dr Nwabisa N. Mehlomakulu, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Prof Eugenie Kayitesi, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Prof Brett I. Pletschke, Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Prof Mapitsi S. Thantsha, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Recent Publications: 

  1. Gufe, C., Thantsha, M.S. and Malgas, S. (2023). Recovery of xylan from Acacia mearnsii using ultrasound‐assisted alkaline extraction. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 
  2. Malgas, S., Thoresen, M., Moses, V., Prinsloo, E., van Dyk, J.S. and Pletschke, B.I. (2022). Analysis of the galactomannan binding ability of β-mannosidases, BtMan2A and CmMan5A, regarding their activity and synergism with a β-mannanase. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 20, 3140-3150 
  3. Magengelele, M., Hlalukana, N., Malgas, S., Rose, S.H., van Zyl, W.H., and Pletschke, B.I. (2021). Production and in vitro evaluation of prebiotic manno-oligosaccharides prepared with a recombinant Aspergillus niger endo-mannanase, Man26A. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 150, 109893.
  4. Duab, C., Mabate, B., Malgas, S. and Pletschke, B.I. (2020). Fucoidan from Ecklonia maxima is a powerful inhibitor of the diabetes-related enzyme, α-glucosidase. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 151, 412-420.
  5. Malgas, S., Chandra, R., Van Dyk, J.S., Saddler, J.N., and Pletschke, B.I. (2017). Formulation of an optimized synergistic enzyme cocktail, HoloMix, for effective degradation of various pre-treated hardwoods. Bioresource Technology, 245, 52-65.

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