Production of specifically structured lipids by enzymatic interesterification in a pilot enzyme bed reactor: process optimization by response surface methodology

Xuebing Xu, Huiling Mu, Carl-Erik Høy, Jens Adler-Nissen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Pilot production of specifically structured lipids by Lipozyme IM-catalyzed interesterification was carried out in a continuous enzyme bed reactor without the use of solvent. Medium chain triacylglycerols and oleic acid were used as model substrates. Response surface methodology was applied to optimize the reaction system with four process parameters, these being volume flow rate, water content in the substrates, reaction temperature and substrate ratio. The incorporation of acyl donors, product yields and the content of diacylglycerols were measured as the model responses. Enzyme activity was not identical for the sequential experiments in the same enzyme bed due to the deactivation of the Lipozyme IM. Therefore, the results were normalized based on enzyme deactivation models. Well-fitting quadratic models were obtained after normalizing the data for the incorporation of oleic acid and the production of mono-incorporated and di-incorporated structured lipids with multiple regression and backward elimination. The coefficient of determination (R2) for the incorporation was 0.93, and that for the di-incorporated products was 0.94. The optimal conditions were flow rate, 2 ml/min; temperature, 65 °C; substrate ratio, 5.5; and water content, 0.1%. The production of diacylglycerols was not well correlated with any of the parameters and the yield generally decreased with the experimental sequence. This was due to the stoichiometric water in the substrate mixture in the packed enzyme bed being complicated by the water binding and absorption of the immobilized lipase. The main effects of parameters were also examined and conclusions in agreement with our previous results were made.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)207-213
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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