Lipases (triacylglycerol hydrolases, EC 18.104.22.168) belong to a class of hydrolases that catalyze the hydrolysis of triglycerides into glycerol and free fatty acids. Furthermore, lipases also catalyze the hydrolysis and transesterification of other esters and exhibit enantioselective properties, having a range of biotechnological applications of great industrial interest. Traditional methods of microorganisms cultivation for enzyme production include solid state fermentation (SSF) and submerged fermentation (SmF), each has advantages and disadvantages according to the desired application. Recently, a new fermentation method was developed by the research group of Embrapa Instrumentation in collaboration with UFSCar, named as combined fermentation (CF). This innovative method is characterized by germination of the fungus in the solid phase and subsequent transition to three-phase SmF cultures. This new cultivation method has shown to yield superior results for cellulases production in comparison to conventional SmF. In this context, the aim of this project is to evaluate whether the combined fermentation is feasible for lipase production. Besides an opportunity to validate the proposed method, there is the possibility of developing a more efficient bioprocess for the production of lipases, along with giving an appropriate destination for the residues of palm oil processing. Furthermore, the lipases produced will be characterized and immobilized for their application in the modification of oils and fats for obtaining bioproducts of biotechnological interest, such as biodiesel, bio-lubricants and structured lipids.
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