Microbial Polyamino Acids: An Overview for Commercial Attention

Sandip B. Bankar*, Pranhita R. Nimbalkar, Prakash V. Chavan, Rekha S. Singhal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
179 Downloads (Pure)


Although, polyamino acids are structurally similar to proteins, they are not proteins and do not have a specific sequence. Polyamino acids are polymerized from single amino acid that has molecular mass and polydispersity as similar as polysaccharides. Polyamino acid biosynthesis is considered to be an interesting example of biopolymer synthesis that is being produced by fermentation process. Furthermore, polyamino acids have a wide range of applications from food additives and biomedical agents to biodegradable and renewable resources. The materials produced from polyamino acids are environment friendly, biodegradable, and independent of oil-based resources. Three common natural polyamino acids studied extensively in the literature are, poly-ε-lysine, poly-ε-glutamic acid, and cyanophycin.This chapter covers a wide-range discussion on the importance of polyamino acids including structure, biosynthesis, and biodegradation of naturally occurring poly-ε-lysine, poly-ε-glutamic acid, and cyanophycin. Fermentation and biosynthetic pathway studies, along with downstream processing and characterization of these polyamino acids, are detailed extensively in the current chapter. Besides, large-scale production and challenges associated with it are also discussed. Multifarious applications of polyamino acids in the food as well as pharmaceutical industries have been summarized comprehensively. Finally, various challenges and opportunities in well-designed trials that are needed to improve the current knowledge on polyamino acids are conjectured.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRole of Materials Science in Food Bioengineering
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780128115008
ISBN (Print)9780128114483
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books


  • Biopolymer
  • Cyanophycin
  • Poly-ε-glutamic acid
  • Poly-ε-lysine
  • Polyamino acids


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