Open Access

Table 2

Overview of lipases industrial applications (adapted from Choudhury, 2015).

Industry sector Applications and benefits
Fats and oleo-chemistry The current trend in the oleo-chemical industry is to involve the use of immobilized lipase to catalyze the hydrolysis, esterification and inter-esterification of oils and fats as an alternative to physico-chemical processes (energy saving, specificity of reactions)
Detergents Next to proteases as detergent additives, lipases are the second most important group of detergent enzymes to contribute to oil and fats stain and traces removal. Lipases are used in both laundry and dishwashing formulations commercial detergents where they have been optimized to operate under various pH and temperature conditions. Lipex® and Lipolase® from Novozymes are two examples of lipases sold to the detergent industry
Polymers Lipases can be used to assist the production of polymers, such as polyester, PLA (polylactide), PCL (polycaprolactone) an many others, in alternative to chemically catalysed reactions (Pollet, 2015)
Immobilised lipases are also used in lignin transesterification reactions to produce lignine oleate, bringing new properties to the polymer (Husson, 2015)
Food processing Lipases are utilized in dairy products for flavor development but also in the processing of other foods such as meat products, baked foods, cocoa butter processing and others
Medical and pharmaceutical sectors Due to their high level of specificity, lipases can be used to produce active pharmaceutical compounds. For example, enantioselective enzymes are used as an alternative technology to chiral chromatography (Gerard, 2015)
Lipases are also applied in the production of lysophospholipids from phospholipids and to extract and produce functional lipids (Lennon, 2015)
Pulp and paper The presence of hydrophobic components (mainly triglycerides and waxes) in wood are detrimental to many of the processes in the production of paper and pulp, and lipases can be used to remove those undesirable triglycerides
Waste / effluent / sewage treatment Lipases are added to eliminate the thin layers of fats formed at the surface of waste water reservoirs and therefore recover active oxygen transport conditions which are necessary in maintaining optimum biomass growth
Cosmetics and perfumery Lipases are used in the productin of surfactants (e.g. mono-acylglycerols and diacylglycerols) via the controlled esterification of glycerols
In the cosmetic and fragrances industries lipases can be used in the synthesis of citronellyl butyrate and valerate
Biodiesel Lipases are used to produce biodiesel from various feedstocks such as palm oil or animal fats. Thermostable lipases have been developed to optimize the application of enzymes in biodiesel production (Nielsen, 2016)

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