Developing Aspergillus niger as a cell factory for food enzyme production

Biotechnol Adv. 2020 Nov 15;44:107630. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2020.107630. Epub 2020 Sep 10.


Aspergillus niger has become one of the most important hosts for food enzyme production due to its unique food safety characteristics and excellent protein secretion systems. A series of food enzymes such as glucoamylase have been commercially produced by A. niger strains, making this species a suitable platform for the engineered of strains with improved enzyme production. However, difficulties in genetic manipulations and shortage of expression strategies limit the progress in this regard. Moreover, several mycotoxins have recently been detected in some A. niger strains, which raises the necessity for a regulatory approval process for food enzyme production. With robust strains, processing engineering strategies are also needed for producing the enzymes on a large scale, which is also challenging for A. niger, since its culture is aerobic, and non-Newtonian fluid properties are developed during submerged culture, making mixing and aeration very energy-intensive. In this article, the progress and challenges of developing A. niger for the production of food enzymes are reviewed, including its genetic manipulations, strategies for more efficient production of food enzymes, and elimination of mycotoxins for product safety.

Keywords: Aspergillus niger; Bioprocess; Expression strategies; Food enzyme production; Genetic manipulations; Mycotoxin elimination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Aspergillus niger* / genetics
  • Mycotoxins*


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Mycotoxins