Microbial biosurfactant research: time to improve the rigor in the reporting of synthesis, functional characterisation, and process development.

Matthew Twigg, Niki Baccile, Ibrahim Banat, Eric Déziel, R Marchant, Sophie Roelants, Inge Van Bogaert

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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Abstract

The demand for microbially produced surface-active compounds for use in industrial processes and products is increasing. As such there has been a comparable increase in the number of publications relating to the characterisation of novel surface-active compounds; novel producers of already characterised surface-active compounds and production processes for the generation of these compounds. Leading researchers in the field have identified that many of these studies utilise techniques that provide limited experimental evidence to justify the published conclusions. Such studies lacking robust experimental evidence generated by validated techniques and standard operating procedures is detrimental to the field of microbially produced surface-active compound research. In this publication we have critically reviewed a wide range of techniques utilised in the characterisation of surface-active compounds from microbial sources; identification of surface-active compound producing microorganisms and functional testing of resultant surface-active compounds. We have also reviewed the experimental evidence required for process development to take these compounds out of the lab and into industrial application. We devised this review as a guide to both researchers and the peer review process to improve the stringency of future studies and publications within this field of science.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • surface-active compound
  • biosurfactant
  • bioemulsifier
  • microorganism
  • glycolipid
  • bioprocess development
  • purification methodology
  • aggregation
  • functional characterisation

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