Green and efficient approach to the synthesis of esters for perfumes, fragrances

Graphical summary. Credit: Journal of Cleaner Production (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134772

Scientists from the Olive Research Institute (OCRI) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Anhui Agricultural University (Anhui, China), Newcastle University in Singapore and Huizhou Comvikin Biotechnology Co., Ltd (Guangdong, China) have developed a green and efficient approach for the synthesis of highly lipid soluble and antioxidant L-ascorbyl esters from immobilized lipases.

An ester is a type of chemical compound formed by the reaction between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid. It has a characteristic sweet and fruity smell and is used in the preparation of flavors, perfumes and plastics. Esters are also found in many natural substances such as fats, oils and waxes.

The permitted antioxidant in baby foods is L-ascorbyl palmitate, but its low lipid solubility limits commercial demand. A team of researchers, led by Professor Mingming Zheng and Dr. Yi Zhang from the Olive Research Institute, proposed a more efficient and environmentally friendly method for the synthesis of highly lipid-soluble unsaturated fatty acid ascorbyl esters using enzymatic catalysis by Lipase CaLB immobilized on ordered silica.

In this approach, self-prepared immobilized lipases are used to catalyze the reaction that produces L-ascorbyl esters. These lipases are immobilized, meaning they are attached to the entire surface of the mesoporous support, which improves the catalytic stability and reusability of the lipases. The use of unsaturated fatty acids as acyl donors results in the synthesized ascorbyl esters having better lipid solubility (ie, can be dissolved in fats and oils), lower melting point and comparable antioxidant activity to L-ascorbyl palmitate.

Compared to traditional synthesis methods, this new approach using enzymatic esterification is a more efficient and cleaner method of synthesizing highly soluble and antioxidant L-ascorbyl esters. It has significant potential for application in industrial production.

The team leaders have applied to patent this new approach.

The work has been published in Journal of Cleaner Production.

More information:
Tiantian Zhang et al, Green and efficient synthesis of highly lipid soluble and antioxidant L-ascorbyl esters from immobilized lipases, Journal of Cleaner Production (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134772

Provided by Newcastle University in Singapore

Reference: Green and Efficient Approach to Esters Synthesis for Flavorings, Flavorings (2023, February 28) Retrieved February 28, 2023 from

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