Production of specific-structured lipids by enzymatic interesterification in a pilot continuous enzyme bed reactor

Xuebing Xu, Steen Balchen, Carl-Erik Høy, Jens Adler-Nissen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Production of specific-structured lipids (interesterified lipids with a specific structure) by enzymatic interesterification was carried out in a continuous enzyme bed pilot scale reactor. Commercial immobilized lipase (Lipozyme IM) was used and investigations of acyl migration, pressure drop, water dependence, production efficiency and other basic features of the process were performed. The extent of acyl migration (defined as a side reaction) occurring in the present enzyme bed reactor was compared to that in a pilot batch reactor. The continuous enzyme bed reactor was better than the batch reactor in minimizing acyl migration. Generally the former produced about one fourth the acyl migration produced by the latter at a similar extent of incorporation. Pressure drop and production efficiency were evaluated in order to obtain a suitable yield in one reaction step. High incorporation was favored by high substrate ratios between acyl donors and oils, requiring long reaction times on the enzyme bed. Under these conditions, the pressure drop of the reactor was modeled statistically and theoretically. Residence time, water content and effects of mass transfers were also investigated. Incorporation of medium chain fatty acids was increased with increased residence time. Approximately 40% lipase activity was lost after a four-week run. External mass transfer was not a major problem in the linear flow range, but internal mass transfer did impose some transfer limitations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJ. Am. Oil Chem. Soc.
    Pages (from-to)1573 -1579
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

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