Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 42, Issue 10, pp 1647–1659 | Cite as

Optimization of free fatty acid production by enzymatic hydrolysis of vegetable oils using a non-commercial lipase from Geotrichum candidum

  • Matheus M. Ferreira
  • Gustavo F. de Oliveira
  • Rodrigo C. Basso
  • Adriano A. Mendes
  • Daniela B. HirataEmail author
Research Paper


This study aimed to optimize free fatty acid production by enzymatic hydrolysis of cottonseed, olive and palm kernel oils in stirred-tank reactors using a lipase from Geotrichum candidum (GCL-I). The effect of pH, temperature and substrate concentration on the hydrolytic activity of GCL-I using these vegetable oils was investigated. Thermal stability tests and thermodynamic studies were also performed. A complete hydrolysis of cottonseed oil was obtained after 120 min of reaction, while for olive and palm kernel maximum hydrolysis percentage was 96.4% and 60.1%, respectively. GCL-I exhibited the highest activity in the hydrolysis of vegetable oils that are rich in unsaturated-fatty acids (cottonseed and olive oils). Under optimal conditions (46.8% m/m of oil, 6.6 U/g of the reaction mixture at 40 °C), complete cottonseed oil hydrolysis was observed at 60 min of reaction performed in an emulsifier-free system with no buffer.


Lipase specificity Free fatty acid production Kinetic Thermodynamic Optimization 



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-Brasil (CAPES)-Finance Code 001. The authors are grateful to Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais-FAPEMIG (TEC-APQ-02755-16) for its financial support. MSc. Matheus M. Ferreira thanks CAPES for his student fellowship. Gustavo F. Oliveira thanks Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for his IC fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matheus M. Ferreira
    • 1
  • Gustavo F. de Oliveira
    • 2
  • Rodrigo C. Basso
    • 1
  • Adriano A. Mendes
    • 2
  • Daniela B. Hirata
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Chemical EngineeringFederal University of AlfenasPoços de CaldasBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of ChemistryFederal University of AlfenasAlfenasBrazil

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