Lipase applications in food industry

Aravindan Rajendran, P. Anbumathi, T. Viruthagiri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations


Lipases are the most pliable biocatalyst and bring about a wide range of bioconversion reactions, such as hydrolysis, interesterification, esterification, alcoholysis, acidolysis and aminolysis. Lipases can act on a variety of substrates including natural oils, synthetic triglycerides and esters of fatty acids. They are resistant to solvents and are exploited in a broad spectrum of biotechnological applications. Lipase catalyzed transesterification, hydrolysis and esterification are the important class of reactions for food technology applications in fats and oil industry, dairy industry, pharmaceuticals and bakery industry. Lipases are very peculiar as they hydrolyse fats into fatty acids and glycerol at the water-lipid interface and can reverse the reaction in non-aqueous media. Novel biotechnological applications, like biopolymer synthesis, biodiesel production, treatment of fat-containing waste effluents, enantiopure synthesis of pharmaceuticals and nutraceutical agents, have been established successfully. The present article extends the frontier of lipase technology towards food processing applications and discusses the important characteristics of lipases and its sources. Various methods of lipase immobilization for food technology applications, various assay methods for lipase, production of lipase by submerged and solid state fermentation strategies, and various purification methods available have been discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalIndian Journal of Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


  • Ester
  • Fatty acids
  • Food applications
  • Lipase sources
  • Lipases
  • Triglycerides

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