Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 5, pp 2079–2086 | Cite as

Microbial production of butyl butyrate, a flavor and fragrance compound

  • Hyeon Ji Noh
  • Sang Yup LeeEmail author
  • Yu-Sin JangEmail author


Butyl butyrate (BB) has been widely used as a flavor and fragrance compound in the beverage, food, perfume, and cosmetic industries. Currently, BB is produced through two-step processes; butanol and butyrate are first produced and are used as precursors for the esterification reactions to yield BB in the next step. Recently, an alternative process to the current process has been developed by using microorganisms for the one-pot BB production. In the one-pot BB process, alcohol acyl transferases (AATs) and lipases play roles in the esterification of butanol together with their co-substrates butyryl-CoA and butyrate, respectively. In this paper, we review the characteristics of two enzymes including AAT and lipase in the esterification reaction. Also, we review the one-pot processes for BB production by employing the wild-type and engineered Clostridium species and the engineered Escherichia coli strains, with the combination of AATs and lipases.


Butyl butyrate Ester Flavor Alcohol acyltransferase Lipase 


Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2016R1D1A3B04933184). SYL was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes on Systems Metabolic Engineering for Biorefineries from the MSIT through the NRF of Korea (NRF-2012M1A2A2026556 and NRF-2012M1A2A2026557).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Food Science Technology, Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Plus Program), Institute of Agriculture & Life Science (IALS)Gyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (BK21 Plus Program), BioProcess Engineering Research Center, Institute for the BioCenturyKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)DaejeonRepublic of Korea

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