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Biopharm Journal.

 2015, 1(2), 41‐47    ISSN: 2454‐1397 
Payel Choudhury1* and Biswanath Bhunia2
1Department of Electrical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Agartala, -799046, India
2 Department of Bio Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Agartala, -799046, India
[Received on: 24th June, 2015 Accepted on: 18th July, 2015 Published on: 28th July, 2015]
1. Introduction
Lipases are a class of enzymes which catalyze the
hydrolysis of long chain triglycerides. At present, Enzymes are biologic polymer. They catalyze the
microbial lipases are achieving much awareness with bio-chemical reaction that makes life possible. The
the fast progress of enzyme technology. Lipases enzyme should be present in balance and should be
signify the most important group of biocatalysts for maintained to perform the breakdown of nutrients
industrial applications. The present review defines to supply energy and other chemical building blocks
various industrial applications of microbial lipases in (Britannica, 2014). In addition to serving as the
fat and oleo-chemical industry, detergent industry, catalysts for all metabolic processes their impressive
production of biodegradable polymer, food
catalytic activity, steno specificity and substrate
processing, flavor development ,medical and
pharmaceutical, pulp and paper industry, biosensors, specificity enable enzymes to fulfill key roles in other
waste treatment, cosmetics and perfumery and bio process related to human well-being
diesel. (, 2013). The enzymes that catalyze
the conversion of one or more compounds
(substrate) into one or more different compounds
Keywords: Enzyme, Lipase, application, biocatalyst, (products) enhance the rates of the corresponding
non catalyzed reaction by factor of at least 106 to
109. Like all catalysts enzymes do not get consumed
nor permanently get altered as a outcome of their
participation in a reaction (Khersonsky & Tawfik,
2010). Lipases (triacylglycerol acyl hydrolases, E.C. are a class of enzymes which catalyze the
hydrolysis of long chain triglycerides. Lipases
constitute as one of the most important group of
biocatalysts for biotechnological applications. Lipase
was first identified in the pancreas by J. Eberle in
1834 and by C.I. Bernard in 1856. Under aqueous
conditions they act on carboxyl ester bonds present
in triacylglycerol’s to release fatty acids and glycerol
(Gupta et al., 2004). Lipases are serine hydrolases
and they can work without support from any
cofactor (Rajendran et al., 2008). This review has
attempt to focus the industrial application of lipase.
* Corresponding author 2. Industrial Applications of lipases:
Tel No: 0381-2346-360,
Microbial lipases constitute an important group of
Fax No: 0381-2346360,
E.mail: biotechnologically valuable enzymes, mainly due to
versatility of their applied properties and ease of

Biopharm Journal. 2015, 1(2), 41‐47    ISSN: 2454‐1397 

mass production. Microbial lipases find attractive at alkaline pH and higher temperatures all these
applications in industries due to its wide enzymatic properties makes attractive choice for detergent
properties(Ray, 2012a). Some of the applications are application(Lenting et al., 1993). Therefore, a large
stated below: number of Pseudomonas species have been studied for
finding attractive and effective lipase application in
2.1.Lipases in fat and oleo-chemical industry:
different fields.(Mobarak-Qamsari et al., 2011).
Lipases find enormous application in the oleo Recently, it has reported that the activity and stability
chemical industry as thermal degradations minimizes of the crude lipolytic extract from P. aeruginosa
during hydrolysis, glycolysis, and alcoholic’s and also showed substantial stability in presence of some
save energy. It has been reported that commercial nonionic surfactants and local commercial
use of C.cylindracea lipase in production of soap detergents (Grbavčić et al., 2007). It seemed that the
(Saxena R.K. et al., 1999). The introduction of the crude enzyme showed high lipolytic activity in the
new generation of cheap and very thermo stable presence of Echoer, a detergent used for cleaning
enzymes can change the economic balance in favor ovens and Ecocide commercially (Grbavcic et al.,
of lipase use(Momsia & Momsia, 2013). The current 2011).
trend in the oleo chemical industry involves the use
2.3. Lipase in production of biodegradable
of immobilized lipase to initiate various reactions
such as hydrolysis, alcoholic’s, and glycolysis using
mixed substrates. Thus, the use immobilized enzyme In organic syntheses lipases have become important
ensures high productivity as well as continuous groups of enzymes for its wide applications. Lipases
running of the processes. This offers a greatest hope being biocatalyst is useful in the production of
for successful fat splitting/modification without biodegradable compounds. Recently, it was reported
substantial investment in expensive equipment as that by direct esterification of butanol 1-Butyl locate
well as in expenditure of large amounts of thermal was produced and oleic acid tends to decrease the
energy(Saxena R.K. et al., 1999) viscosity of biodiesel during winter. Trimethylol-
propane esters were also similarly synthesized as
2.2. Lipases in detergent industry:
lubricants. Lipases can also catalyst ester syntheses
After the great commercial success of proteases as and transesterification reactions in presence of
deter-gent additives, the enzyme industry undertook organic solvent systems. Therefore there is an
major efforts to introduce lipases as a second group opportunity of bio catalyzed to produce
of detergent enzymes. In addition, to assess the biodegradable polyesters. Aromatic polyesters can be
compatibility of lipase, it was compared with several synthesized by lipase biocatalysts(Linko et al., 1998).
commercial used detergents, bleaching agents to
2.4. Lipases in food processing, flavor
remove fat. The use of enzymes is found in all
development and improving quality:
detergent, formulations which are presently
common in developing countries, containing The majority of enzymes used in industry are for
enzymes. The use of detergent in washing machine food processing, mainly for the modification and
increasing laundry detergent more and more popular breakdown of biomaterials. A large number of fat
as it impart softness, to fabrics, antistaticness, clearing enzymatic lipases are produced on an
dispersible in water. There are different brands of industrial scale. Lipases are commercial utilized in
laundry that claim different qualities of laundry dairy products for flavor development and
detergent are very common on market.(Verma et al., processing other foods, like meat, vegetables, fruit,
2012). Thermomycessp.,is the most important detergent baked foods, milk product and beer(Aravindan et al.,
lipase which is very commonly used.(Lipolase, 2007).Lipases are extensively used in the dairy
Novozymes) (Gillis, 1988).The pseudomonas spp. industry for the hydrolysis of milk fat. The dairy
Containing other formulations such as Lumafast and industry lipases are used to modify the lengths of
Lipomax(Lenting et al., 1993). The optimal activity fatty acid chain that enhance the flavors of cheeses.
Biopharm Journal. 2015, 1(2), 41‐47    ISSN: 2454‐1397 

In present application lipase in dairy industry are oils, beverages, soft drinks, pharmaceutical industries
used in acceleration of cheese ripening and the and also in clinical diagnosis.(Ray, 2012b) (The basic
lipolysis of fatty product like cheese and concept of using lipase as biosensors is to generate
cream(Ghosh et al., 1996). A whole range of glycerol from the triacylglycerol in the analytical
microbial lipase is prepared M. miehei , A. niger, A. sample and to quantify the released glycerol by a
oryzae and several others used in cheese chemical or enzymatic method.(Pandey et al., 1999;
manufacturing industry. Lipases have also been used Ray, 2012b) developed a method for the
for addition in food to modify flavor by synthesis of determination of organophosphorous pesticides
esters of short chain fatty acids and a1cohols, which with a surface acoustic wave impedance sensor by
are known flavor and fragrance compounds (Jeon et lipase hydrolysis. A biosensor based on the enzyme-
al., 2009). catalysed dissolution of biodegradable polymer films
has been developed. The polymer-enzyme system;
2.5. Lipasesapplications in medical and
poly(trimethylene) succinate, was investigated for
pharmaceutical sectors:
use in the sensor, which is degraded by a lipase.
Lipases are important in application in Potential fields of application of such a sensor
pharmaceuticals in trans-esterification and hydrolysis system are the detection of enzyme concentrations
reaction. Many microorganisms such as bacteria, and the construction of disposable enzyme based
yeasts, molds, and a few protozoa are known to immunosensors, which employ the polymer-
secrete lipases for the digestion of lipid materials. degrading enzyme as an enzyme label.(Sumner et al.,
The microbes are also well in inhospitable 2001)Radiolabelled polynucleotide probes have been
habitats(Gopinath et al., 2013).Lipases from C. employed extensively for the detection of
rugosa,lowers serum cholesterol level. S. marcescens complementary nucleic acids by specific
which have been used to synthesize lovastatin, a hybridization. Within the last few years, various
drug in which that lipase was widely used for the methods have been developed using enzyme-labelled
asymmetric hydrolysis of 3- phenylglycidic acid ester probes ton avoid unstable and hazardous isotopes.
which is vital intermediate in the synthesis of By screening various hydrolytic enzymes to fit the
diltiazem hydrochloride(Gurung et al., 2013; Sharma special demands, fungal lipases turned out to be the
& Kanwar, 2014). most practical.(Hasan et al., 2006). Lipases may be
2.6.Lipases application in pulp and paper immobilized onto pH/oxygen electrodes in
industry: combination with glucose oxidase, and these
function as lipid biosensors and may be used in
Wood is the chief source of paper and pulp industry triglycerides(Ramani & Sekaran, 2012)and blood
and the presence of the pitchi.e hydrophobic cholesterol determinations.(Gandhi, 1997).
components (mainly triglycerides and waxes) in
wood causes serious problems in the production of 2.8. Lipases application in
paper and pulp. Lipases are used for paper making Waste/effluent/sewage treatment/ oil
by removing the pitch from pulp produced. In biodegradation:
Japan, Nippon Paper Industries have found a pitch Lipases are utilized in activated sludge and other
control system to remove most of the wood aerobic waste processes, where thinlayers of fats
triglycerides. This system is based on the usage of a must be continuously removed from the surface of
lipase from C.rugosa(Braz J. Demuner et al., 2011) aerated tanks to permitoxygen transport (to maintain
2.7.Lipases as Biosensors: living nconditions for the biomass). This
skimmedfat-rich liquid is digested with lipases(Bailey
Immobilized lipases are fast, efficient, accurate and & Ollis, 1986)such as that fromC. rugosa.
cost effective as sensors for the quantitative Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in cold
determination of triacylglycerol. This application is environments,including Alpine soils, is a result of
important in the food industry, especially in fats and
Biopharm Journal. 2015, 1(2), 41‐47    ISSN: 2454‐1397 

indigenous cold-adapted microorganismsable to and in aroma production.(Metzger & Bornscheuer,

degrade these contaminants. Seven genotypes 2006)Mono-acylglycerols and diacylglycerols are
involved in the degradation of n-alkanes(Margesin et produced by esterification of glycerols and are used
al., 2003),aromatic hydrocarbons(Pinkart et al., as a surfactant in cosmetics and perfume industries.
1996), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(Khan Unichem International (Spain) has launched the
et al., 2001) was determined in 12 oil-contaminated production of isopropyl myristate, isopropyl
have found that monitoring of soil microbial lipase palmitate and 2-ethylhexylpalmitate for use as an
activity is a valuable indicator of diesel oil emollientin personal care products such as skin and
biodegradation in freshly contaminated,unfertilized sun-tan creams, bath oils, etc.
and fertilized soils. Fungal species can be used to ImmobilizedRhizomucormeihei lipase was used as a
degrade oil spills in the coastal environment, which biocatalyst. Retinoids(Vitamin A and derivatives) are
mayenhanceecorestoration as well as in the of great commercial potential in cosmetics and
enzymatic oil processing in industries(Gopinath et pharmaceuticals such as skin care products.
al., 1998).Lipases are utilized in activated sludge and Reduction of isopropyl myristate, isopropyl
other aerobic waste processes, where thin layers of palmitate and 2-ethylhexylpalmitate for use as an
fats must be continuously removed from the surface emollient in personal care products such as skin and
of aerated tanks to permit oxygen transport (to sun-tan creams, bath oils etc. Wax esters (esters of
maintain living conditions for the biomass). This fatty acids and fatty alcohols) have similar
skimmed fat-rich liquid(Gandhi, 1997) is digested applications in personal care products and are also
with lipases such as that from C. rugosa. Effective being manufactured enzymatically.(Gunstone &
breakdown of solids and the clearing and prevention Padley, 1997)The company uses C. cylindracea lipase
of fat blockage or filming in waste systems are in a batch bioreactor. According to the
important in many industrial operations. Examples manufacturer, the overall production cost is slightly
include: (i) degradation of organic debris—a higher than that of the conventional method, but the
commercial mixture of lipase, cellulase, protease, cost is justified by the improved quality of the final
amylase, inorganic nutrients, wheat bran, etc. is product(Thierry, 2003).Retinoids (Vitamin A and
employed for this purpose; (ii) sewage treatment, derivatives) are of great commercial potential in
cleaning of holding tanks, septic tanks, grease cosmetics and pharmaceuticals such as skincare
traps,etc. The first stage in the degradation and products. Water-soluble retinol derivatives were
recycling of primary sewage sludge and particulate prepared by catalytic reaction of immobilized
organic matter is the solubilization and enhanced lipase.(Ansorge-Schumacher & Thum, 2013)Lipases
hydrolysis of complex polymeric organic carbon have been used in hair waving
structures associated with the anaerobic preparation.(Andualema & Gessesse, 2012)Lipases
sulphidogenic environment. During the process of have also been used as a component of topical
anaerobic digestion, macromolecules are broken antiobese creams(August, 1972) or as oral
down into simpler low molecular weight compounds administration.
in the presence of extracellular enzymes. The
2.10. Lipase in bio diesel:
increased sulphide concentration generated during
the sulphate reduction process stimulates the Biocatalyst based biotechnological applications are
enzymes(proteases, lipases and glucosidases) leading receiving increasing attention. Lipases (triacylglycerol
to enhanced solubilization of primary sewage acyl hydrolases, EC are the important
sludge.(Burgess & Pletschke, 2008) biocatalysts because of their excellent biochemical
and physiological properties. Lipases are the
2.9. Lipases in cosmetics and perfumery:
hydrolytic enzymes that can be used in various
Lipases have potential application in cosmetics and industrial applications for alcoholic’s, acidosis’s,
perfumeries because it shows activities in surfactants aminolysis and hydrolysis reactions. Biodiesel

Biopharm Journal. 2015, 1(2), 41‐47    ISSN: 2454‐1397 

production in present of biocatalyst as lipase is a broad substrate tolerance, and high stability. The
stunning application. Lipase catalyzed biodiesel growing demand for lipases has shifted the trend
production was reported at 2012. Lipase-catalyzed towards prospecting for novel lipases, improving the
trans esterification which involves two steps. Firstly properties of existing lipases for established
it involve in hydrolysis of the ester bond and technical applications andproducing new enzymes
secondly on esterification with the second substrate tailor-made for entirely new areas of application.
(Fan et al., 2012). Although lipases from different Quantitative improvement of the lipase gene can be
sources are able to catalyze the same reaction, achieved by employing recombinant DNA
bacterial and fungal lipases are mostly used in technology and protein engineering, especially
biodiesel production such asA.niger,C.antarctica, through site directed mutagenesis and directed
C.rugosa, C. viscosum, M. miehei, P.cepacia, P.fluorescens, P. evolution of the strain. Thus, the modern methods
lipolyticum, Rhizopusoryzae, Streptomyces sp., and T. of genetic engineering combined with an increasing
lanuginose.C. rugosa, obtained from yeast, is the most knowledge of structure and function are allowing
commonly used microorganism used for the further adaptation to industrial needs and the
production of lipase (Sharma et al., exploration of novel applications.
2001).Recently, Streptomyces sp. was investigated as
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