Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 597–608 | Cite as

Efficient biotechnological synthesis of flavor esters using a low-cost biocatalyst with immobilized Rhizomucor miehei lipase

  • Ulisses M. F. de Oliveira
  • Leonardo J. B. Lima de Matos
  • Maria Cristiane M. de Souza
  • Bruna B. Pinheiro
  • José C. S. dos SantosEmail author
  • Luciana R. B. GonçalvesEmail author
Original Article


In this work, the synthesis of two fruit flavor esters, namely methyl and ethyl butyrate, by lipase from Rhizomucor miehei immobilized onto chitosan in the presence of the surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate SDS was investigated. In the optimized conditions, maximum esterification yield for ethyl butyrate and methyl butyrate was (92 ± 1%) and (89 ± 1%), respectively. Esterification yields for both reactions were comparable or even superior to the ones achieved when the synthesis was catalyzed by a commercial enzyme, Lipozyme®, at the same reaction conditions. For ethyl butyrate, the developed biocatalyst was used for seven consecutive cycles of reaction with retention of its catalytic activity. For methyl butyrate synthesis the biocatalyst was used for four consecutive cycles without loss of its catalytic activity. The results show that chitosan may be employed in obtaining biocatalysts with high catalytic efficiency and can successfully replace the currently commercial available biocatalysts.

Graphical abstract


Rhizomucor miehei lipase Chitosan Fruit flavor esters Surfactants 



The authors would like to thank the Brazilian research-funding agencies FUNCAP (BP3-0139-00005.01.00/18), CNPq and CAPES. The data used in this article originated from the Ph.D. Thesis of Ulisses Marcondes Freire de Oliveira (ORCID ID:, available in: ( This Doctoral thesis has been submitted (2012) to the Postgraduate Program in Biotechnology of the Northeast Biotechnology at Federal University of Ceará—UFC as part of the requirements for obtaining title Ph.D. in Industrial Biotechnology. Thesis Advisor: Prof. Dr. Luciana Rocha Barros Gonçalves.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors whose names are listed immediately below certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Engenharia QuímicaUniversidade Federal do CearáFortalezaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Engenharias e Desenvolvimento SustentávelUniversidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-BrasileiraAcarapeBrazil

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