Yuheng Lin, Rachit Jain, Yajun Yan
College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
Antioxidants are biological molecules with the ability to protect vital metabolites from harmful oxidation. Due to this fascinating role, their beneficial effects on human health are of paramount importance. Traditional approaches using solvent-based extraction from food/non-food sources and chemical synthesis are often expensive, exhaustive, and detrimental to the environment. With the advent of metabolic engineering tools, the successful reconstitution of heterologous pathways in Escherichia coli and other microorganisms provides a more exciting and amenable alternative to meet the increasing demand of natural antioxidants. In this review, we elucidate the recent progress in metabolic engineering efforts for the microbial production of antioxidant food ingredients — polyphenols, carotenoids, and antioxidant vitamins.