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Bioemulsifiers are not biosurfactants and require different screening approaches

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Grant Burgess



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The terms biosurfactant and bioemulsifier have often been used interchangeably to describe surface active biomolecules. However, it is important to note that there are marked differences between them especially based on their physico-chemical properties and physiological roles. Although bioemulsifiers and biosurfactants are both amphiphilic in nature and are produced by a wide range of microorganisms, each exhibit characteristic roles in nature. These microbial surfactants have recently received increased scientific attention due to their unique characteristics relative to chemically derived surfactants. Their unique features include; non-toxicity, biodegradability, biocompatibility, efficiency at low concentrations and their synthesis from natural substrates under mild environmental conditions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Uzoigwe C, Burgess JG, Ennis CJ, Rahman PKSM

Publication type: Editorial

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Microbiology

Year: 2015

Volume: 6

Print publication date: 07/04/2015

Online publication date: 07/04/2015

Acceptance date: 13/03/2015

ISSN (electronic): 1664-302X

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00245