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Enzymatic synthesis of kojic acid esters and their potential industrial applications

Ahmad Firdaus B. Lajis, Mahiran Basri, Rosfarizan Mohamad, Muhajir Hamid, Siti Efliza Ashari, Nurazwa Ishak, Azulia Zookiflie, and Arbakariya B. Ariff

Department of Bioprocess Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia



Abstract: In this paper, enzymatic methods for the synthesis of 5-hydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)-4H-pyran-4-one (kojic acid) esters are reviewed. Important process parameters related to the synthesis of kojic acid esters such as the type of immobilized lipase, solvent, temperature, initial water activity, water content, pH, metal salts, enzyme loading, substrates mole ratio, and acyl donors are highlighted and discussed. The properties of kojic acid esters related to their solubility, stability, cytotoxicity, depigmenting activity, tyrosinase inhibitory, metal-chelating, anti-oxidant, and other biological activities are also highlighted. At present, kojic acid and its esters are widely used in cosmetic and skin health industries as skin whitening agents. The advantages and disadvantages of various kojic acid esters are compared and possible industrial applications of these derivatives are also discussed.

Keywords: kojic acid – kojic acid esters – esterification – depigmenting – tyrosinase – immobilized lipase

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-013-0336-6


Chemical Papers 67 (6) 573–585 (2013)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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