Recent trends and advancements in microbial tannase-catalyzed biotransformation of tannins: a review

Int Microbiol. 2018 Dec;21(4):175-195. doi: 10.1007/s10123-018-0027-9. Epub 2018 Aug 13.


The outburst of green biotechnology has facilitated a substantial upsurge in the usage of enzymes in a plethora of industrial bioconversion processes. The tremendous biocatalytic potential of industrial enzymes provides an upper edge over chemical technologies in terms of safety, reusability, and better process control. Tannase is one such enzyme loaded with huge potential for bioconversion of hydrolysable tannins to gallic acid. Tannins invariably occur in pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms and predominately cumulate in plant parts like fruits, bark, roots, and leaves. Furthermore, toxic tannery effluents from various tanneries are loaded with significant levels of tannins in the form of tannic acid. Tannase can be principally employed for debasing the tannins that predominately occur in the toxic tannery effluents thus providing a relatively much cheaper measure for their biodegradation. Over the years, microbial tannase-catalyzed tannin degradation has gained momentum. The plentious availability of tannin-containing agro- and industrial waste paves a way for efficient utilization of microbial tannase for tannin degradation eventually resulting into gallic acid production. Gallic acid has received a great deal of attention as a molecule of enormous therapeutic and indusrial potential. The current worldwide demand of gallic acid is 8000 t per annum. As a matter of fact, bioconversion of tannins into gallic acid through fermentation has not been exploited completely. This necessitates further studies for development of more efficient, economical, productive processes and improved strains for gallic acid production so as to meet its current demand.

Keywords: Bioconversion; Bioremediation; Gallic acid; Hydrolysable tannins; Tannase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology / methods
  • Biotransformation
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Gallic Acid / metabolism*
  • Industrial Microbiology / methods
  • Industrial Waste
  • Plants / chemistry
  • Tannins / metabolism*


  • Industrial Waste
  • Tannins
  • Gallic Acid
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • tannase