Marine lipid biotechnology: Omega-3 PUFA enriched lipids by use of lipase

Thursday February 20
16:25

Marine lipid biotechnology: Omega-3 PUFA enriched lipids by use of lipase

Gudmundur Haraldsson, University of Iceland (Iceland).
Lipase was introduced to the fish oil field in the late 1980’s in attempts to enrich cod liver oil with the highly beneficial omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. That soon developed into pioneering work involving microbial lipase cata- lyzing various transesterification and esterifica- tion reactions of EPA and DHA.  This research was conducted in collaboration with Lysi hf in Iceland and Novo Nordisk in Denmark and resulted in highly efficient processes that are used today in production of triglycerides with high contents of EPA and DHA.
In the early 1990’s the emphasis of lipase application in the omega-3 field shifted towards 
production of concentrates of EPA and DHA as based on lipase fatty acid selectivity and kinetic resolution. Collaboration with Norwegian com- panies resulted in concentrating EPA and DHA as ethyl esters and free fatty acids from various fish oil types.  
From the first decade of the 21st century the main emphasis has been on chemoenzymatic synthesis of structured lipids by aid of lipase regioselectivity to control location of predeter- mined fatty acids into the various positions of the glycerol backbone in triglycerides, enantio- pure ether lipids and phospholipids.