Published August 2002
Lipases are a subclass of esterase enzymes, which can act on triglyceride esters (natural oils and fats). Lipases are used in the food, brewing, baking, and cleaning industries, with the largest volume application being detergents as aids to removal of fatty soils.
Because of their hydrophobic nature, lipases in laundry applications show their best activity at moderate water content, during the drying cycle. Because of this, lipases in laundry detergents take at least two wash cycles to remove fatty stains, although Novozymes have developed a lipase which shows firstwash lipid removal.
This review discusses the production of bacterial lipase, using a Pseudomonas gram-negative microorganism (Pseudomonas alcaligenes), as the producing microorganism, which is used by Genencor to produce lipase product. The design basis is for a 825,000 lb./yr. (325 tonne/yr.) production plant. Measured in terms of enzyme activity, this plant would produce 1.95 x 109 million ILU lipase activity units (measured on olive oil substrate). The plant design includes fermentation, cell removal, enzyme concentration, and granulation into a finished product.
The design differs from the highest-volume lipase production process used by Novozymes, which uses a recombinant filamentous fungus (Aspergillus oryzae), to produce lipase, using a gene derived from Humicola lanuginosa.