Bioemulsifiers are not biosurfactants and require different screening approaches

Chibuzo Uzoigwe, J. Grant Burgess, Christopher J. Ennis, Pattanathu K.S.M. Rahman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number245
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015


  • Bioemulsifiers
  • Biosurfactants
  • Lipopeptides
  • Lipoproteins
  • Rhamnolipids
  • Sophorolipids


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