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Solvent-Free Synthesis of Flavour Esters through Immobilized Lipase Mediated Transesterification

DOI: 10.1155/2013/367410

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The synthesis of methyl butyrate and octyl acetate through immobilized Rhizopus oryzae NRRL 3562 lipase mediated transesterification was studied under solvent-free conditions. The effect of different transesterification variables, namely, molarity of alcohol, reaction time, temperature, agitation, addition of water, and enzyme amount on molar conversion (%) was investigated. A maximum molar conversion of 70.42% and 92.35% was obtained in a reaction time of 14 and 12?h with the transesterification variables of 0.6?M methanol in vinyl butyrate and 2?M octanol in vinyl acetate using 80?U and 60?U immobilized lipase with the agitation speed of 200?rpm and 0.2% water addition at 32°C and 36°C for methyl butyrate and octyl acetate, respectively. The immobilized enzyme has retained good relative activity (more than 95%) up to five and six recycles for methyl butyrate and octyl acetate, respectively. Hence, the present investigation makes a great impingement in natural flavour industry by introducing products synthesized under solvent-free conditions to the flavour market. 1. Introduction Short chain esters often have a characteristic pleasant, fruity odour. Consequently, these esters have notable commercial significance in the fragrance, cosmetics, food, and pharmaceutical industries [1]. Flavour esters produced by extraction from plant and animal sources are not viable due to their presence in minor quantities. Chemical production of flavour esters is not eco-friendly and has some toxic effects on the customer’s health. Nowadays, many researchers and industries have switched to biocatalytic flavour synthesis due to consumer’s inclination towards natural flavours over chemical ones. These reactions use mild operating conditions, have high specificity with reduced side reactions, and produce high purity flavour compounds by avoiding the expensive separation techniques [2]. Among three different major biotechnological methods (through enzymes, plant cell cultures, and plant tissue cultures), processes employing enzymes are the most common techniques [3]. Methyl butyrate (MB) or methyl ester of butyric acid is an ester with a fruity odour of pineapple, apple, and strawberry. Availing small amounts in plant sources, usually pineapple flavour is produced by distillation of vegetable based essential oils on small scale for utilization as perfumes or food flavours. Octyl acetate (OA) or octyl ethanoate is a flavour ester that is formed from octanol and acetic acid with a fruity orange flavour used in food and beverage industries [4]. Lipase catalyzed esterification

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