Surfactants are an essential part of detergent or emulsifier formulations and find applications in food, cleaning, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Glycolipids are among the best studied surfactants originating from renewable resources and can be obtained by chemical synthesis, fermentation processes as well as by enzymatic syntheses and have gained considerable interest in recent years. The use of suitable enzymes not only facilitates the synthesis of new tailor-made glycolipids, but also allows targeted modification of known microbial glycolipids. Thereby, novel glycolipids may arise with enhanced surfactant properties, which might exhibit interesting bioactive properties as well. Here we present an overview of the advantages, strategies and important parameters regarding the enzymatic synthesis and modification of surface-active glycolipids.
Within this article different strategies and advantages of the enzymatic synthesis and modification of glycolipids are discussed.