Biosurfactants from yeasts: characteristics, production and application.
- PubMed: 20545287
Biosurfactants are surface-active compounds from biological sources, usually extracellular, produced by bacteria, yeast or fungi. Research on biological surfactant production has grown significantly due to the advantages they present over synthetic compounds such as biodegradability, low toxicity, diversity of applications and functionality under extreme conditions. Although the majority of microbial surfactants have been reported in bacteria, the pathogenic nature of some producers restricts the wide application of these compounds. A growing number of aspects related to the production of biosurfactants from yeasts have been the topic of research during the last decade. Given the industrial importance of yeasts and their potential to biosurfactant production, the goal of this chapter is to review the biosurfactants identified up to present, focusing the relevant parameters that influence biosurfactant production by yeasts and its characteristics, revealing the potential of application of such compounds in the industrial field and presenting some directions for the future development of this area, taking into account the production costs.