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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318941

Research Project: Technologies for Producing Biobased Chemicals

Location: Renewable Product Technology Research

Title: Continuous, packed-bed, enzymatic bioreactor production and stability of feruloyl soy glycerides

item Compton, David - Dave
item GOODELL, JOHN - Biotechnology Research And Development Corporation (BRDC)
item GRALL, STEVEN - Grall Company
item Evans, Kervin
item Cermak, Steven - Steve

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2015
Publication Date: 12/23/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Compton, D.L., Goodell, J.R., Grall, S., Evans, K.O., Cermak, S.C. 2015. Continuous, packed-bed, enzymatic bioreactor production and stability of feruloyl soy glycerides. Industrial Crops and Products. 77:787-794.

Interpretive Summary: This research describes a large-scale, enzymatic method for making bio-based sunscreen and antioxidant ingredients for cosmetics and skin care products. Our mission is to develop new, value added, bio-based chemicals and products that replace those made from petroleum and reduce the effects of climate change. The ARS patented technology that attaches a natural plant component, ferulic acid, to soybean oil is being used by industry partners to make soy-based ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB radiation and have antioxidative properties comparable to commercially used petroleum-based ingredients. Crucial to the commercial use of the soy-based ingredients by the personal care industry is the advancement of the small, laboratory-scale process to a large, pilot-scale bioreactor production process. This research describes the successful development and optimization of a metric ton per year (1,000 kg/year) continuous, packed-bed, bioreactor using an immobilized enzyme to produce the soy-based ingredients. The long term stability of soy-based cosmeceutical ingredients was also determined. The process is currently being used by industrial partners to commercially produce the soy-based ingredients, and the process is being adapted to produce a wider variety of commodity vegetable oil-based products.

Technical Abstract: The synthesis of feruloyl soy glycerides was demonstrated on a pilot-scale (1 metric ton/year) in a continuous, four-column series, packed-bed, enzymatic bioreactor (herinafter referred to as the bioreactor). Ethyl ferulate and soybean oil were combined and converted at 3.5 kg/d over Candida antartica lipase B immobilized on an acrylic rein (Novozym 435) at 60 °C. The ethyl ferulate/soybean oil substrate was fed through the four, packed-bed, enzyme columns in series with each column fitted with a recirculation pump, which improved conversion and throughput compared to smaller, batch bioreactor systems. The synthesis was carried out over 4.5 months with a single charge of enzyme to produce over 450 kg of feruloyl soy glycerides at 65% conversion. The stability of the feruloyl soy glycerides was determined by comparing the total ferulate concentration (UV absorbance), free radical scavenging (antioxidant) capacity, total acid value (hydrolysis), and Lovibond color of samples produced in 2009 to samples produced in 2015. The feruloyl soy glycerides showed no appreciable loss of UV absorbing (lambda max 325 nm) or rapid antioxidant capacity (50% reduction of initial radical concentration <5 min) after six years of storage. Feruloyl soy glycerides were shown to be hygroscopic over six years, but did not show any appreciable difference in total acid number due to hydrolysis or change in color. The successful pilot-scale synthesis and long term efficacy and stability of feruloyl soy glycerides was critical for the adoption of feruloyl soy glycerides as broad range UV absorbing and antoxidant ingredient by the cosmetic and skin care industries.