Enzymatic preparation of food-grade l-α-glycerylphosphorylcholine from soy phosphatidylcholine or fractionated soy lecithin

Jeongeun Kim, Yejin Song, Soo Jeong Lee, Jung Eun Lee, Min Yu Chung, In Hwan Kim, Byung Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


l-α-Glycerylphosphorylcholine (l-α-GPC) is a biosynthetic precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in humans, making it a useful as a cognitive enhancer for treating patients with stroke and dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The aim of this study was to prepare l-α-GPC via Novozym 435 (an immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B)-catalyzed hydrolysis of soy phosphatidylcholine or a fractionated soy lecithin, from which triacylglycerols were completely removed, followed by food-grade solvent extraction of l-α-GPC from the reaction products. The reaction was performed in n-hexane–water biphasic media in a stirred-batch reactor. Phosphatidylcholine was completely hydrolyzed to l-α-GPC under optimal conditions: temperature, 55°C; water content, 100 wt% of the substrate weight; enzyme loading, 10 wt% of the substrate weight; and reaction time of 6 hr (for soy phosphatidylcholine) or 8 hr (for fractionated soy lecithin). Water-soluble fractions of the reaction products containing 98.6 area% l-α-GPC (from soy phosphatidylcholine) or 52.4 area% glycerophosphodiesters, including l-α-GPC (from fractionated soy lecithin), were obtained after phase separation of the media. The resulting products would be suitable for use as food-grade cognitive enhancers because of the use of enzymatic reaction and food-grade solvent extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2910
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Institute of Chemical Engineers


  • Novozym 435
  • food-grade cognitive enhancer
  • l-α-glycerylphosphorylcholine
  • lecithin
  • phosphatidylcholine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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