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Biotechnology of Flavours

Microbial systems generate flavour compounds with the sought-after attribute „natural“. Experiments using labelled precursor substrates are used to elucidate the often unknown metabolic pathways.

The grapefruit-impact flavour compound nootkatone is produced through allylic hydroperoxidation of valencene using a dioxygenase or – quantitatively – using a laccase/manganese peroxidase mix.

A cascade built by ferulic acid esterase and –decarboxylase generates 4-Vinylguaiacol, the impact flavour compound of smoke flavour. This avoids the generation of cancerogenic aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons. Yields higher than one gram per litre show the possibility of industrially viable bioprocesses.