Lipase – Bakery Ingredient – History, Uses, Functions in Food Processing

What is Lipase?

Lipase is an enzyme that catalysis hydrolysis of dietary fats into smaller molecules called fatty acids and glycerol, thus it is used for the modification and breakdown of biomaterials. It plays the essential role in digestion and found in the blood, gastric juices, pancreatic secretions, intestinal juices and adipose tissues.

History of Lipase:

Traditionally, most lipases originated from cow and pig pancreatic glands as well as the pre-gastric juices of calves, lambs or baby goats. Microbial lipases derived exclusively from yeast, bacteria or fungi without any animal genetic origin have become commercially available and are commonly used in a wide variety of industries including several food industries. (

Also Read: Various Enzymes Used in Bakery Products – Types, History, Production

The growth of application of commercial enzymes is very significant and promising, particularly in food industry during the past 35 years.

Commercial Production of Lipase Enzyme

Most of the industrial microbial lipase is derived from fungi and bacteria. Fungi are preferable because fungal enzymes are usually extracellular, facilitating extraction from fermentation media. Microbial lipases are produced mostly by submerged culture but solid state fermentation can also be used.

The organisms are normally grown in a complex nutrient medium containing carbon nitrogen and phosphorous sources and mineral salts. Lipases production by B. sphaericus has been investigated and maximum lipase activity. The yeast Candida rugosa, which is an industrial producer of lipase, has been shown to secrete extracellular lipase upon induction by fatty acids.

Uses of Lipase in Food Processing:

  • Lipase is used in the yoghurt and cheese fermentation since ancient times.
  • Lipase is used in baking processes.
  • It acts as biosensor to generate glycerol from the triacylglycerol in the analytical sample and to quantify the released glycerol by a chemical or enzymatic method.
  • It finds its use in egg yolk treatment for the production of mayonnaise and other emulsifiers.
  • It accelerates cheese ripening and the lipolysis of butter, fat and cream.
  • It impart distinct aroma and flavour to cheese while it is processed.
  • It is used for flavour development of meat, vegetables, fruit, baked foods, milk product and beer
  • It is used in the processing of dairy products.
  • It is used in the production of enzyme modified cheese.
  • It is also used in the production of enzyme modified dairy ingredients.
  • It is an enzyme stabilizer, emulsifier in bakery products and used as a food additive.


Also Read: List of Commonly Used Enzymes in Food Processing

  • Lipase is easily available, cheap and versatile bio-catalyst, which increases the rate of reaction.
  • It helps in the breakdown of fats into lipids.
  • It finds its application in certain reactions like hydrolysis, esterification etc.
  • It can act on a variety of substrates including natural oils, synthetic triglycerides and esters of fatty acids


  • Lipase continues to be active after ripening and can cause the development of strong rancid flavor.
  • Lipase functions best in the range 30°C to 40°C and is usually destroyed at temperatures above 45°C.

FDA Approval

Lipase GRAS to be used as food additive by FDA under FDA 21 CFR101.100; 1.3(ii).

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