Starch a cheap, abundant and renewable natural material has been chemically modified for many years. The popular modification acylation has been used to adjust rheological properties as well as deliver polymers with internal plasticizers and other potential uses. However the harsh reaction conditions required to produce these esters may limit their use, especially in sensitive applications (foods, pharmaceuticals, etc.). The use of enzymes to catalyse acylation may provide a suitable alternative due to high selectivities and mild reaction conditions. Traditional hydrolase-catalysed synthesis in non-aqueous apolar media is hard due to lack of polysaccharide solubility. However, acylated starch derivatives have recently been successfully produced in other non-conventional systems: (a) surfactant-solubilised subtilisin and suspended amylose in organic media; (b) starch nanoparticles dispersed in organic medium with immobilised lipase; (c) aqueous starch gels with lipase and dispersed fatty acids. We attempt a systematic review that draws parallels between the seemingly unrelated approaches described.
- starch ester
- enzymatic acylation