l-Ascorbic acid has been industrially produced for around 70 years. Over the past two decades, several innovative bioconversion systems have been proposed in order to simplify the long time market-dominating Reichstein method, a largely chemical synthesis by which still a considerable part of l-ascorbic acid is produced. Here, we describe the current state of biotechnological alternatives using bacteria, yeasts, and microalgae. We also discuss the potential for direct production of l-ascorbic acid exploiting novel bacterial pathways. The advantages of these novel approaches competing with current chemical and biotechnological processes are outlined. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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