Terpenes and terpenoids are among the key impact substances in the food and fragrance industries. Equipped with pharmacological properties and applications as ideal precursors for the biotechnological production of natural aroma chemicals, interests in these compounds have been escalating. Hence, the syntheses of new derivatives that can show improved properties are often called for. Stereoselective biotransformation offers several benefits to increase the rate of production, in terms of both the percentage yield and its enantiomeric excesses. Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is broadly used as a whole cell stereospecific reduction biocatalyst, due to its capability in reducing carbonyls and carbon-carbon double bonds, which also extends its functionality as a versatile biocatalyst in terpenoid biotransformation. This review provides some insights on the development and prospects in the reductive biotransformation of monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids using S. cerevisiae, with an overview of strategies to overcome the common challenges in large-scale implementation.
2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.