Suggested improvements to the standard filter paper assay used to measure cellulase activity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two suggestions can be found in the literature to improve the reproducibility of the Mandels' filter paper assay: add supplemental cellobiase and increase the boiling time for color development. Here we provide data that strongly supports adding supplemental cellobiase. Adding supplemental cellobiase increased assay response by 56%. Cellulases from different sources have different cellobiase activities, which would cause significant variation in the assay response. There is no need for additional boiling time-5 minutes is sufficient. For maximum reproducibility, it is essential that the water bath vigorously boil so that temperature excursions are minimized.

published proceedings

  • Biotechnol Bioeng

author list (cited authors)

  • Coward-Kelly, G., Aiello-Mazzari, C., Kim, S., Granda, C., & Holtzapple, M.

citation count

  • 56

complete list of authors

  • Coward-Kelly, Guillermo||Aiello-Mazzari, Cateryna||Kim, Sehoon||Granda, Cesar||Holtzapple, Mark

publication date

  • June 2003