Biotechnology in Future Food Lipids: Opportunities and Challenges

Qingqing Xu, Qingyun Tang, Yang Xu, Junjun Wu, Xiangzhao Mao, Fuli Li, Shian Wang, Yonghua Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipids are a large group of essential nutrients in daily diets that provide energy and maintain various physiological functions. As the global population is rapidly expanding, there is an urgent need to enhance the production and quality of food lipids. The development of modern biotechnology allows the manipulation of oil production in plants and microorganisms and the improvement of the nutritional value of food lipids. Various metabolic engineering strategies have been exploited to increase oil production and produce value-added oils in traditional oil crops and other novel lipid sources (e.g., plant vegetative tissues, microalgae, and oleaginous microorganisms). Furthermore, natural lipid structures can be modified by lipases to prepare functional lipids, e.g., diacylglycerols, medium–long–medium-type structured triacylglycerols, human milk-fat substitutes, and structuralphospholipids, for specific nutritional demands. In this review, we focus on the recent advances in metabolic engineering of lipid production in plants and microorganisms, and the preparation of functional lipids via biocatalysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-246
JournalAnnual Review of Food Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 by the author(s).


  • microbial lipids
  • metabolic engineering
  • enzymatic modification
  • structural lipids
  • Phospholipids

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