The production of lipase by Candida rugosa in batch cultures was studied. The initial concentration of the carbon source employed, oleic acid, had an important effect on the final lipolytic activity levels. The maximum lipase/substrate yield and specific productivity obtained correspond to an initial oleic acid concentration of 2 g/l. At higher concentrations, up to 8 g/l oleic acid, specific productivity decreased. Lipase production was not observed below 1 g/l oleic acid. Lipase inactivation in culture broth due to surface forces and shear stress at the gas/liquid interface was not observed. There was no shear stress denaturation at stirring rates of 250, 500 and 750 rpm. No temperature inactivation was detected up to 50° C. Two different lipases with a similar molecular weight of 60kDa were purified from culture broth. © 1995, Springer-Verlag. All rights reserved.