Frontier Science Center for Synthetic Biology and Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering (Ministry of Education), SynBio Research Platform, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, People's Republic of China. [Email]
Riboflavin (RF) and its active forms, the cofactors flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), have been extensively used in the food, feed and pharmaceutical industries. Modern commercial production of riboflavin is based on microbial fermentation, but the established genetically engineered production strains are facing new challenges due to safety concerns in the food and feed additives industry. High yields of flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide have been obtained using whole-cell biocatalysis processes. However, the necessity of adding expensive precursors results in high production costs. Consequently, developing microbial cell factories that are capable of efficiently producing flavin nucleotides at low cost is an increasingly attractive approach. The biotechnological processes for the production of RF and its cognate cofactors are reviewed in this article.