3 Biotech

, 9:244 | Cite as

Synthesis of flavor esters by a novel lipase from Aspergillus niger in a soybean-solvent system

  • Shanzi Cong
  • Kangming Tian
  • Xin Zhang
  • Fuping LuEmail author
  • Suren Singh
  • Bernard Prior
  • Zheng-Xiang WangEmail author
Original Article


To find a lipase for synthesis of flavor esters in food processing, a total of 35 putative lipases from Aspergillus niger F0215 were heterologously expressed and their esterification properties in crude preparations were examined. One of them, named An-lipase with the highest esterification rate (23.1%) was selected for further study. The purified An-lipase had the maximal activity at 20 °C and pH 6.5 and the specific activity of 1293 U/mg. Sixty percent of the activity was maintained in a range of temperatures of 0–30 °C and pHs of 3.0–8.5. The highest hydrolysis activity of An-lipase was towards pNPC (C8), followed by pNPB (C4) and pNPA (C2), then pNPL (C12). Km, Vmax, kcat, and kcat/Km towards pNPC were 26.7 mmol/L, 129.9 mmol/(L h), 23.2 s−1, and 0.8/mM/s, respectively. The ethyl lactate, butyl butyrate, and ethyl caprylate flavor esters were produced by esterification of the corresponding acids with conversion efficiencies of 15.8, 37.5, and 24.7%, respectively, in a soybean-oil-based solvent system. In conclusion, An lipase identified in this study significantly mediated synthesis of predominant flavor esters (ethyl lactate, butyl butyrate, and ethyl caprylate) in a soybean-oil-lacking other toxic organic solvents, which has potential application in food industries.


Aspergillus niger Lipase Flavor ester synthesis Soybean-oil solvent 



This research was supported by the Intergovernmental International Scientific and Technological Innovation Cooperation Program, MOST, China (Grant No.: 2018YFE0100400) and the Raising Program of Innovation Team for Tianjin Colleges and Universities, Tianjin, China (Grant No.: TD12-5002) to ZXWANG.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that a Chinese Innovative Patent based on the use of this enzyme or its mutants for improving the flavor of fermented foods is under application.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BiotechnologyTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Biological Chemical Engineering, College of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina
  3. 3.Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Faculty of Applied SciencesDurban University of TechnologyDurbanSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa

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