Project Number: 3620-41000-144-00
Start Date: Jun 16, 2009
End Date: Aug 09, 2010
Processes for producing modified plant lipids with novel and valuable functional properties are essential for developing new markets for commodity vegetable oils. Furthermore, these processes and products should have minimal adverse impact on the environment and pose no threat to plant operators and the surrounding community. It is the premise of this proposal that using isolated enzymes in selected nonaqueous media can meet these design goals. Two distinctly different approaches are considered. One approach, for enzymes not having complex cofactor requirements, employs soybean oil as a solvent as well as a reactant, while the other approach, for enzymes having more substantial structural and cofactor needs, places the enzyme in a highly structured environ and specifically tailored media. In the first approach, synthesis of a patented product is examined to optimize reaction variables for pre-commercial production. The second approach addresses several fundamental issues regarding ex vivo use of membrane-associated enzymes for the bioelectrocatalytic transformation of phospholipids and triglycerides. Taken together, new knowledge will be gained and useful processes will be developed that can deliver value-added vegetable oil derivatives for consumers and industry.