Yarrowia lipolytica: Safety assessment of an oleaginous yeast with a great industrial potential

Marizeth Groenewald, Teun Boekhout, Cecile Neuveglise, Claude Gaillardin, Piet W. M. van Dijck, Markus Wyss

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

    348 Citations (Scopus)


    Abstract Yarrowia lipolytica has been developed as a production host for a large variety of biotechnological applications. Efficacy and safety studies have demonstrated the safe use of Yarrowia-derived products containing significant proportions of Yarrowia biomass (as for DuPont's eicosapentaenoic acid-rich oil) or with the yeast itself as the final product (as for British Petroleum's single-cell protein product). The natural occurrence of the species in food, particularly cheese, other dairy products and meat, is a further argument supporting its safety. The species causes rare opportunistic infections in severely immunocompromised or otherwise seriously ill people with other underlying diseases or conditions. The infections can be treated effectively by the use of regular antifungal drugs, and in some cases even disappeared spontaneously. Based on our assessment, we conclude that Y. lipolytica is a "safe-to-use" organism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-206
    JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


    • Genomics
    • industrial application
    • natural occurrence
    • opportunistic infection
    • taxonomy


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