Background: Alpha-amylases are enzymes capable of degrading polysaccharides,
such as starch and glycogen. Found in various organisms, such as fungi and bacteria,
these enzymes have great biotechnological potential due to their insertion in several
industrial sectors ranging from food to biofuels.
Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze patents deposited in intellectual property
databases on alpha-amylases in the fields of food, beverages, detergents, animal feeds,
biofuels, pharmaceuticals and textiles, with the search period being 5 years.
Methods: This study targeted the use of alpha-amylases in various industrial sectors, so
searches were carried out on the intellectual property database Espacenet website (European
Patent Office - EPO) which contains more than 90 million patents deposited in its
Results: During the search for patents filed in the last 5 years, 186 were found related to
the use of alpha-amylases. These were disturbed as follows: 84 (biofuel), 41 (drinks), 16
(pharmaceuticals), 15 (detergents), 11 (food), 10 (animal feed), 9 (textiles). From the total
number of patents found, we selected 6 from each area, except pharmaceutical products,
to discuss and provide information on the application of this enzyme.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the sectors of beverages and animal feed have
preferences for thermostable alpha-amylases while sectors such as food, biofuels and textiles
only regarded the importance of enzymatic efficiency. The detergent sector presented
the greatest use of alpha-amylases which had distinct biochemical characteristics as solvent
resistance and thermostability. The pharmaceutical sector was the one that presented
less patents related to the application of alpha amylases. In addition, this work showed
that China is the country with the highest patent registration for the use of alpha-amylases
in the analyzed period.