Enzymatic Synthesis of Ascorbyl Palmitate in a Rotating Bed Reactor

Jessica Holtheuer, Luigi Tavernini, Claudia Bernal, Oscar Romero, Carminna Ottone, Lorena Wilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ascorbyl palmitate, an ascorbic acid ester, is an important amphipathic antioxidant that has several applications in foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. The enzymatic synthesis of ascorbyl palmitate is very attractive, but few efforts have been made to address its process scale-up and implementation. This study aimed at evaluating the enzymatic synthesis of ascorbyl palmitate in a rotating basket reactor operated in sequential batches. Different commercial immobilized lipases were tested, and the most suitable reaction conditions were established. Among those lipases studied were Amano Lipase PS, Lipozyme® TL IM, Lipozyme® Novo 40086, Lipozyme® RM IM and Lipozyme® 435. Initially, the enzymes were screened based on previously defined synthesis conditions, showing clear differences in behavior. Lipozyme® 435 proved to be the best catalyst, reaching the highest values of initial reaction rate and yield. Therefore, it was selected for the following studies. Among the solvents assayed, 2-methyl-2-butanol and acetone showed the highest yields, but the operational stability of the catalyst was better in 2-methyl-2-butanol. The tests in a basket reactor showed great potential for large-scale application. Yields remained over 80% after four sequential batches, and the basket allowed for easy catalyst recycling. The results obtained in basket reactor are certainly a contribution to the enzymatic synthesis of ascorbyl palmitate as a competitive alternative to chemical synthesis. This may inspire future cost-effectiveness studies of the process to assess its potential as a viable alternative to be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number644
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2023


  • ascorbyl palmitate
  • enzymatic synthesis
  • lipase
  • rotating bed reactor


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