Background: Lipid modification results in several benefits for the food industry, biotechnology
advances and human health. Customizing bioactive lipids is very appealing because it improves the
product’s nutritional quality. Lipases are sustainable biocatalysts that can be reused, show selectivity
towards substrates and reactions occur in mild conditions.
Objectives: We aimed at systematically searching for patents deposited worldwide, that approached the
production of structured lipids by using lipases as biocatalysts.
Method: A patent-search strategy was set up in Questel-Orbit and the search strategy adopted was based
on the combination of specific keywords in the title/abstract of the documents, encompassing thoroughly
the search scope. We revised all patents relating structured lipids produced by enzyme reactions and
provided an overview of the main objectives of the patents describing it, as well as a view of the principal
depositors, years of publication and principal countries of deposit, as a mean to access the technological
landscape on the subject.
Results: Forty-four documents, published over the last 34 years, were retrieved. Nine main patents’ objectives
were found, and the two major groups are: SL with bioactive properties and/or with fatty acids
(FA) esterified at specific triacylglycerol positions and SL analogous of natural lipids. China, Japan and
USA were the three main patent depositors.
Conclusion: Although the number of patents retrieved was relatively low, this review indicates that SL
production aiming at improvements in nutritional/health and/or physical attributes for food enhancement
is a new field, and technological interest and innovation have been increasing over the last ten