Open Access
Issue
OCL
Volume 24, Number 4, July-August 2017
Article Number D403
Number of page(s) 7
Section Lipids of the future / Lipides du futur
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/ocl/2017031
Published online 30 June 2017

© D. Guerrand, published by EDP Sciences, 2017

Licence Creative Commons
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1 Introduction to industrial enzymes

1.1 Industrial enzymes applications

The following are the main application areas for industrial enzymes:

  • cleaning agents, including laundry and dishwasher detergents, household care and personal care products;

  • food and beverages, including dairy, baking, fruit and vegetable processing, brewing;

  • animal feed;

  • biofuel, including both first and second generation biofuels;

  • others, including fine chemistry, pharmaceutical industry, textile and leather processing, waste treatment, and paper processing to name a few.

The global market for industrial enzymes is estimated at a global value comprised between $5000 million and $5500 million in 2016. Food and beverages is the largest application for industrial enzymes (Fig. 1). The global demand for processed food combined with a tremendous increase in the per capita income of the population in emerging economies are driving the demand for food and beverages, leading the food industry to optimize their production. In many food processing applications, the use of enzymes significantly improves yield and quality.

Altogether, food and feed applications account for 55–60% of the global enzymes market, and market is growing at an estimated 6–8% annual growth in the period 2016–2020.

thumbnail Fig. 1

Global enzymes market share (m.s.) by application (2015).

1.2 Enzyme functionalities

The global industrial enzymes market is driven by three leading categories: carbohydrases, proteases and lipases:

  • the carbohydrases segment accounts for almost 50% of the industrial enzymes market, up to 70% for the food and beverages application;

  • proteases represent between 25% and 30% of the global market;

  • lipases account for less than 10% market share.

Other categories include oxydases (e.g. glucose oxydase), phytase, transglutaminase and other enzymes, which are most of the time associated with specific applications and markets combinations.

1.3 Industrial enzymes production and key players

Industrial enzymes can be obtained from microbial, plant and animal sources. Most of the enzymes currently developed for industrial applications are obtained from microorganisms (bacteria, yeast or fungi). Microbial enzymes account for 90% of the global market and their producers are located mainly in Europe and Asia.

The 3 dominant global enzyme producers (Novozymes, Dupont, DSM) account for more than 75% of the global enzymes business. Novozymes accounts for 45% to 50% (Fig. 2) of the market and is the sole company active in all enzyme markets and being almost fully dedicated to the enzymes business. Other active players based in Europe are AB Enzymes, BASF, Chr. Hansen, Kerry and Soufflet Biotechnologies.

Japan also has long time established enzyme suppliers such as Ajinomoto, Amano, Nagase and Shin Nihon.

Finally, there are numerous enzymes producers also in China and India serving both local and global markets.

thumbnail Fig. 2

Industrial enzymes market share, estimation by company (2015).

2 Lipases for industrial applications

Lipases (triacylglycerol acyl hydrolases, E.C. 3.1.1.3) are a class of enzymes, which catalyze the hydrolysis of long chain triglycerides. In humans and monogastric animal species, lipases enzyme naturally occur in the stomach and pancreas where they function to digest fats and lipids. For industrial applications, animal derived lipases are still used in some specific medical sectors (e.g. pig pancreas lipase to supplement lipase-deficient patients).

Microbial lipases are produced by fungal, yeast, and bacterial species. The following micro-organisms account for most of the industrial microbial lipases production: Candida sp., Aspergillus sp., Rhizomucor sp., Rhizopus sp., Humicola sp., Yarrowia lipolytica and Pseudomonas sp. They are developed, produced and marketed by the key enzyme players for different applications (Tab. 1).

Industrial lipases application scope covers various industries and applications such as oleo-chemicals, detergents, polymers, food processing, pharmaceutical, waste, cosmetics and biodiesel (Tab. 2).

Table 1

Some examples of commercial lipases from the leading global enzyme suppliers (adapted from suppliers technical literature).

Table 2

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

3 Lipases for the food and agro-industrial applications

Lipases have many applications and benefits in the food and agroindustries, where they have quantitative and/or qualitative impacts. For instance, in the vegetal oil processing, lipases allow a significant increase in oil yield and at the same time the end product is of better appearance. In baking and dairy applications, lipases are added to enhance and accelerate the development of aromatic notes. In the food industry, lipases find a great interest in the egg processing sector to enhance the emulsification properties of egg yolk lipids.

Lipases are also being developed to create new functional ingredients and functional foods, such as cocoa butter equivalents or human milk fat equivalents.

The following lipase applications are reviewed: dairy, baking, cocoa butter substitutes, human milk fat substitutes, egg processing and edible oil production.

3.1 Dairy

Lipases are used to break down milk fats and give characteristic flavors to cheeses. The flavor comes from the free fatty acids produced when milk fats are hydrolyzed (Jooyandeh et al., 2009). Both animal and microbial enzymes are used in the industry. Animal lipases are obtained from kid, calf and lamb, while microbial lipase is derived by fermentation, mainly with the fungal species Rhizomucor meihei. Animal and microbial lipases have different action patterns and the industry uses both according to the expected flavor profile (hydrolysis of the shorter fats is preferred because it results in the desirable taste of many cheeses while the hydrolysis of the longer chain fatty acids can result in “soapy” notes).

3.2 Baking

In baking industry, (phospho)lipases can be used to substitute or supplement traditional emulsifiers through the degradation of wheat lipids to produce emulsifying lipids in situ. Lipase in baking also enhance the flavor of bakery products by liberating short-chain fatty acids through esterification. In synergy with other commonly used baking enzymes (amylases, xylanases…), lipases contribute to increase the loaf volume and improve crumb firmness, allow to prolong the shelf-life of baked products and improve their texture and softness (Robert, 2015).

3.2.1 Cocoa butter substitutes

Cocoa butter is a fat mainly formed by triacylglycerides (TAGs) with two saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acids) and one mono-unsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid). Thanks to its unique structure, cocoa butter shows unique properties in the food processing industry (mouthfeel, melting behaviour…). However, cocoa butter supply is uncertain and its price highly fluctuant. Enzymatic processes have been developed to catalyse interesterification reaction of different edible oils (such as sunflower oils) to produce fats having a composition and properties comparable to those of cocoa butter (Bhaggan, 2016). Such products are called cocoa butter equivalents or cocoa butter substitutes (CBS).

3.3 Human milk fat substitutes

Human milk fat (HMF) contains different lipids: oleic (30–35%), palmitic (20–30%), linoleic (7–14%) and stearic acids (5.7–8%). Unlike in vegetable oils and in cow's milk fat, in HMF, palmitic acid, the major saturated fatty acid, is mostly esterified at the sn-2 position of the TAGs, while unsaturated fatty acids are at the external positions. The fatty acid profile of HMF has a crucial effect on its digestibility and intestinal absorption in infants. Human milk fat substitutes (HMFS) have been obtained by sn-1,3 lipase-catalyzed acidolysis of tripalmitin, butterfat, palm oil, palm stearin or lard (rich in palmitic acid in sn-2 position) with free fatty acids (FFA) from different sources.

The commercial Betapol® product is manufactured by biocatalytic processes by IOI Loders Croklaan (Bhaggan, 2016), through the acidolysis between lard and soybean fatty acids, catalyzed by the sn-1,3 selective lipase from Rhizomucor miehei (Lipozyme® RM).

3.4 Egg processing

Eggs provide functional ingredients to the food industry with a variety of properties including foaming, gelation, emulsifying in batters and mayonnaise and improved texture of baked goods. Egg lipids are responsible for the emulsifying properties. Lipases can greatly improve egg lipids emulsifying power for better performance and lower egg yolk addition rate in processed food recipes, such as dressings and mayonnaise-like products (Biocatalysts UK technical literature).

Egg yolk emulsification for dressings: the global production of emulsified dressings is estimated at 3 millions of metric tons per year, consuming roughly 150 000 metric tons of egg yolk in their process. One third of the market for emulsified dressings is concentrated in Russia and Eastern Europe countries. The market is highly industrialized, with global players such as Nestlé, Kraft and Unilever. Egg yolk is a complex oil-water emulsion composed of 50% water, 32% lipids and 16% protein. Approximately, 1/3 of the lipids are phospholipids, of which approximately 80% is phoshatidylcholine (PC). Egg yolk also contains phosphatidylethanolamine (Fig. 3).

The enzymatic conversion of egg yolk phospholipids into lyso-phospholipids will increase the emulsion stability. Enzyme producers have developed different phospholipases (PL) acting at different positions (Fig. 4).

Egg processing lipases can be extracted from pork pancreas (e.g. Lipomod 699, Biocatalysts, UK) or from micro-organisms (e.g. Maxapal A2, DSM, NL).

Using pork pancreas lipases, the conversion rate from phospholipids to lysophospholipids is typically over 80% after 1 hour reaction. However the application of such enzyme is limited by its animal origin (vegan consumers, Halal/Kosher restrictions). Lipases cloned and expressed in the fungus Aspergillus niger (such as DSM Maxapal A2) also reach high conversion yield but some industry players are not in favour of using enzymes produced by such modified micro-organisms (MGM).

thumbnail Fig. 3

Chemical structure of most important phospholipids in egg yolk.

thumbnail Fig. 4

Action of phospholipases in A1 and A2 positions.

3.5 Edible oil production

Edible oils from plants are used in different industries: food, feed and fuel. Food consumption of vegetal oils is close to 150 million of metric tons per year, of which 1/3 being palm oil. Production of edible vegetal oils is dominated by three leading global players: ADM, Bunge and Cargill.

When refining vegetal oils, it is necessary to remove impurities that affect the yield and moreover the taste, smell, visual appearance, and storage stability of the oil. The most important class of impurities are phopholipids, often referred as “gums”. For decades, the industry has been using thermo-chemical processes to remove those phospholipids (PL) from crude oil, and more recently different enzymes solutions (based on phospholipases) have been proposed by the enzyme companies. The hydrolysis of the PL by phospholipases at the water-oil interface will inhibit the emulsion and release the oil trapped in the gum phase. Flowcharts of non-enzyme assisted processes vs. enzyme assisted process are presented in Figure 5. Enzymatic degumming can be applied to oils from rapeseed/canola, soyabean, ricebran, corn, sunflower seeds, and palm with the following benefits:

  • higher oil yields (up to 2% increase);

  • energy savings (operates at 50–60 °C vs. 85 °C for conventional process);

  • very low oil losses;

  • easier pumping and separation operations;

  • limited formation of soaps;

  • lower water consumption.

Three main phospholipases (PL) used by the industry are categorized according to their fatty acid-glycerol cleavage pattern and are referred as PLA1, PLA2 and PLC (Fig. 6). For optimum performance, enzymatic oil degumming can also involve the use of PL combinations, either in blends or in sequential additions.

It is important to note that besides their different cleavage patterns, each PL developed by the enzyme industry has unique properties in terms of pH and temperature profiles according to their origin and mode of production.

PL used in the oil industry are from microbial origin (Trichoderma, Aspergillus, Pichia…) or still from porcine pancreas. Leading suppliers for the PL range of enzymes are Novozymes, DSM, Dupont, AB Enzymes (Tab. 3).

As the oil industry is implementing the enzyme assisted degumming, PL product ranges from the leading suppliers are in constant evolution. Product innovation is driven by the need for enzymes with improved performance, higher temperature resistance and ability to operate at lower pH.

For instance, Novozymes introduced in 2000 the Lecitase® Ultra 10L (pancreatic PLA2) and the Lecitase® (microbial PLA1), followed in 2003 by Lecitase® Ultra (thermostable microbial PLA1) and recently announced the launch of a new acid tolerant and thermostable PLA1 from Talaromyces leycettanus (Longin, 2016).

AB Enzymes also recently introduced an acid tolerant PLA2 named Rohalase® PL-Xtra (Schroegel-Truxius, 2016) while DSM is now proposing Purifine® 3G, a combination of distinct PL (Muntendam, 2016).

thumbnail Fig. 5

Oil degumming flowcharts comparing three technologies (a) high temperature water extraction (b) process with acidification and (c) enzyme assisted process (from Alfa-Laval technical documentation).

thumbnail Fig. 6

Mode of action of different phospholipases (PL) used for oil degumming. Adapted from Galhardo (2012).

Table 3

Overview of different PL from the leading enzyme suppliers (adapted from Galhardo, 2012).

4 Conclusion

This review showed the potential of lipases as biocatalysts for a broad range of industries with a specific focus on food applications. While lipases market is still a small portion of the global food enzymes market, it is expected to grow with new products and application developments. The example of enzymatic oil degumming shows that almost 20 years after the technology has been developed, new enzymes are still being developed for better performance and benefits for the end user. The development of high value products such as human milk fat substitutes as well as other functional lipids in the food and nutraceutical segments will also drive the lipases market in the coming years.

However, the speed and importance of industrial implementation of enzymatic processes are still limited by three main factors:

  • time and cost to develop new enzymes;

  • new technology acceptance (in other words, time to move from a current technology to the enzyme assisted technology);

  • acceptance of enzymes produced by the mean of genetically modified micro-organisms.

Recent progresses in new enzymes development and enzymes optimisation (strain engineering, protein engineering…) will most likely fasten and lower the cost of new enzymes development. Moreover, enzyme application in the food sector is usually seen as a sustainable and safe technology.

For these reasons, industrial enzymes in general and lipases in particular will be continuously implemented in a broad range of applications as a an alternative to chemical based processes, delivering superior performance and yield, improved product functionalities with a lower impact on energy resources.

References

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  • Galhardo F. 2012. Enzymatic degumming. AOCS Library. [Google Scholar]
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Cite this article as: Guerrand D. 2017. Lipases industrial applications: focus on food and agroindustries. OCL 24(4): D403.

All Tables

Table 1

Some examples of commercial lipases from the leading global enzyme suppliers (adapted from suppliers technical literature).

Table 2

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

Table 3

Overview of different PL from the leading enzyme suppliers (adapted from Galhardo, 2012).

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1

Global enzymes market share (m.s.) by application (2015).

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 2

Industrial enzymes market share, estimation by company (2015).

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 3

Chemical structure of most important phospholipids in egg yolk.

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 4

Action of phospholipases in A1 and A2 positions.

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 5

Oil degumming flowcharts comparing three technologies (a) high temperature water extraction (b) process with acidification and (c) enzyme assisted process (from Alfa-Laval technical documentation).

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 6

Mode of action of different phospholipases (PL) used for oil degumming. Adapted from Galhardo (2012).

In the text

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