Amphiphilic oligo- and polysaccharides (e.g. polysaccharide alkyl or alkyl-aryl esters) form a new class of polymers with exceptional properties. They function as polymeric surfactants, whilst maintaining most of the properties of the starting polymeric material such as emulsifying, gelling, and film forming properties combined with partial water solubility or permeability. At present carbohydrate fatty acid esters are generally obtained by chemical methods using toxic solvents and organic and inorganic catalysts that leave residual traces in the final products. Enzymatic reactions offer an attractive alternative route for the synthesis of polysaccharide esters. In this review the state of the art of enzymatic synthesis of oligo- and polysaccharides fatty esters has been described.
- catalyzed cellulose acetylation
- organic media
- vinyl esters
- regioselective esterification
- water activity