Phytosterols and novel triterpenes recovered from industrial fermentation coproducts exert in vitro anti‐inflammatory activity in macrophages

Francisca S. Teixeira, Susana S. M. P. Vidigal, Lígia L. Pimentel, Paula T. Costa, Diana Tavares‐Valente, João Azevedo‐Silva, Manuela E. Pintado, João C. Fernandes, Luís M. Rodríguez‐Alcalá*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The unstoppable growth of human population that occurs in parallel with all manufacturing activities leads to a relentless increase in the demand for resources, cultivation land, and energy. In response, currently, there is significant interest in developing strategies to optimize any available resources and their biowaste. While solutions initially focused on recovering biomolecules with applications in food, energy, or materials, the feasibility of synthetic biology in this field has been demonstrated in recent years. For instance, it is possible to genetically modify Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce terpenes for commercial applications (i.e., against malaria or as biodiesel). But the production process, similar to any industrial activity, generates biowastes containing promising biomolecules (from fermentation) that if recovered may have applications in different areas. To test this hypothesis, in the present study, the lipid composition of by‐products from the industrial production of β‐farnesene by genetically modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae are studied to identify potentially bioactive compounds, their recovery, and finally, their stability and in vitro bioactivity. The assayed biowaste showed the presence of triterpenes, phytosterols, and 1‐ octacosanol which were recovered through molecular distillation into a single fraction. During the assayed stability test, compositional modifications were observed, mainly for the phytosterols and 1‐octacosanol, probably due to oxidative reactions. However, such changes did not affect the in vitro bioactivity in macrophages, where it was found that the obtained fraction decreased the production of TNF‐α and IL‐6 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)‐induced inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number583
Pages (from-to)582-605
Number of pages24
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • 1‐octacosanol
  • Biowaste
  • IL‐6
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages
  • Molecular distillation
  • Phytosterols
  • Stability test
  • Triterpenes


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