Microbial production of natural raspberry ketone

Biotechnol J. 2007 Oct;2(10):1270-9. doi: 10.1002/biot.200700076.


Raspberry ketone is an important compound for the flavour industry. It is frequently used in products such as soft drinks, sweets, puddings and ice creams. The compound can be produced by organic synthesis. Demand for "natural" raspberry ketone is growing considerably. However, this product is extremely expensive. Consequently, there is a remaining desire to better understand how raspberry ketone is synthesized in vivo, and which genes and enzymes are involved. With this information we will then be in a better position to design alternative production strategies such as microbial fermentation. This article focuses on the identification and application of genes potentially linked to raspberry ketone synthesis. We have isolated candidate genes from both raspberry and other plants, and these have been introduced into bacterial and yeast expression systems. Conditions have been determined that result in significant levels of raspberry ketone, up to 5 mg/L. These results therefore lay a strong foundation for a potentially renewable source of "natural" flavour compounds making use of plant genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Butanones / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Industrial Microbiology / methods
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*


  • Butanones
  • raspberry ketone