Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 24, pp 10265–10293 | Cite as

Current status in biotechnological production and applications of glycolipid biosurfactants

  • Bruno Nicolau PaulinoEmail author
  • Marina Gabriel Pessôa
  • Mario Cezar Rodrigues Mano
  • Gustavo Molina
  • Iramaia Angélica Neri-Numa
  • Glaucia Maria Pastore


Biosurfactants are natural compounds with surface activity and emulsifying properties produced by several types of microorganisms and have been considered an interesting alternative to synthetic surfactants. Glycolipids are promising biosurfactants, due to low toxicity, biodegradability, and chemical stability in different conditions and also because they have many biological activities, allowing wide applications in different fields. In this review, we addressed general information about families of glycolipids, rhamnolipids, sophorolipids, mannosylerythritol lipids, and trehalose lipids, describing their chemical and surface characteristics, recent studies using alternative substrates, and new strategies to improve of production, beyond their specificities. We focus in providing recent developments and trends in biotechnological process and medical and industrial applications.


Surfactants Biosurfactants Glycolipids Rhamnolipids Sophorolipids Mannosylerythritol lipids Trehalose lipids 



The authors acknowledge the funding agencies Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico (CNPq), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Capes).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Nicolau Paulino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marina Gabriel Pessôa
    • 1
  • Mario Cezar Rodrigues Mano
    • 1
  • Gustavo Molina
    • 2
  • Iramaia Angélica Neri-Numa
    • 1
  • Glaucia Maria Pastore
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Bioflavors and Bioactive Compounds, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food EngineeringUniversity of CampinasSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of Science and Technology, Food Engineering, UFVJMDiamantinaBrazil

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