Background: Lipid modification results in several benefits for the food industry, biotechnology advances and human health. Customizing bioactive lipids is very appealing because it improves the product's nutritional quality. Lipases are sustainable biocatalysts that can be reused, show selectivity towards substrates and reactions occur in mild conditions.
Objectives: We aimed at systematically searching for patents deposited worldwide, that approached the production of structured lipids by using lipases as biocatalysts.
Method: A patent-search strategy was set up in Questel-Orbit and the search strategy adopted was based on the combination of specific keywords in the title/abstract of the documents, encompassing thoroughly the search scope. We revised all patents relating structured lipids produced by enzyme reactions and provided an overview of the main objectives of the patents describing it, as well as a view of the principal depositors, years of publication and principal countries of deposit, as a mean to access the technological landscape on the subject.
Results: Forty-four documents, published over the last 34 years, were retrieved. Nine main patents' objectives were found, and the two major groups are: SL with bioactive properties and/or with fatty acids (FA) esterified at specific triacylglycerol positions and SL analogous of natural lipids. China, Japan and USA were the three main patent depositors.
Conclusion: Although the number of patents retrieved was relatively low, this review indicates that SL production aiming at improvements in nutritional/health and/or physical attributes for food enhancement is a new field, and technological interest and innovation have been increasing over the last ten years.
Keywords: Structured lipids; biological activity; enzyme activity; enzyme technology; lipase; patent; physical properties..
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