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Biocatalysis and the Production of Flavor Compounds

The biocatalytic reduction of activated alkenes by ene reductases offers an bio-based alternative to metal- or organocatalyzed double bond reduction. In our recent publication, we describe a new biocatalytic process to reduce 2E-decenal.

Characterization of the ene reductase library ragrding its members' activities in procuding decanal (3) and the undisclosed product (4)

Ene Reductases are natural catalysts that can be applied to development sustainable industrial processes for the flavor and fragrance industry. A library of 20 wild-type enzymes was screened to investigate the synthetic potential to produce flavor compounds including decanal. Our screen identified several enzymes efficiently reducing 2E-decenal as well as other interesting target substrates. Five enzymes exhibited high activities at increased substrate concentrations (10g/L). Taken into account other properties (thermostability, solubility, activity at 10°) an ene reductase originating from Pseudomonas brassicacearum was used to optimize the reduction of 2E-decenal. A high conversion yield (>93%) could be achieved with 40g/L substrate in a 100mL scale.


Development of an Ene Reductase-Based Biocatalytic Process for the Production of Flavor Compounds. A. Papadopoulou, C. Peters, S. Borchert, K. Steiner & R. Buller. Org. Process Res. Dev. June 14, 2022.