A Novel Fermentation Process for Intracellular Lipase Production Using Pelletized Rhizopus Oryzae




Of known enzymes, lipases have attracted the most scientific attention due to their importance in industrial enzyme applications. In addition to their natural function of hydrolyzing carboxylic ester bonds, lipases can catalyze esterification, interesterification, and transesterification reactions in nonaqueous media. This versatility makes lipases the enzymes of choice for potential applications in the food, detergent, pharmaceutical, leather, textile, cosmetic, and paper industries. However, limitations of the industrial use of these enzymes have been mainly due to their high production costs and the difficulty enabling the production of these enzymes at high levels and in a virtually purified form.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University’s process provides a solution for economically producing intracellular lipase by controlling the fungal morphology to small pellets rather than large, cotton-like mycelia. In particular, this technology is a novel fermentation process for intracellular lipase production using pelletized Rhizopus oryzae. This morphology allows conversion of carbon sources to intracellular lipases. In turn, this reduces the need and cost of an immobilization support medium and further increases the possibilities for more industrial applications for lipases.


Key Benefits

  • Using pelletized Rhizopus oryza, as opposed to the traditional filamentous morphology, allows for the conversion of carbon sources to intracellular lipases and avoids the formation of cotton-like mycelia.
  • Provides the potential to improve lipase production.
  • Utilizes entire biomass.
  • Could possibly act as a substitute for crude or pure enzyme preparations.




The pelletized lipases have the potential to be applied in the dairy, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, oleochemical, and biorefinery industries.


Patent Status


Patent pending




Yan (Susie) Liu, Wei Liao


Tech ID




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University