LAE® (lauric arginate ethyl ester)


The commercial name of ethyl lauroyl arginate is Lauric Arginate. This term has been accepted by the FDA for labelling purposes. Other names commonly used to refer to this substance are LAE® and lauric arginate ethyl ester.

Ethyl lauroyl arginate is a synthetically produced cationic surfactant manufactured in LAMIRSA GROUP premises according to processes patented by the company. The main particularity of ethyl lauroyl arginate is that its building blocks are naturally occurring substances, i.e.: L-arginine, ethanol and lauric acid. Once ethyl lauroyl arginate is ingested by consumers, it is easily hydrolysed within a few minutes in the human body into natural compounds commonly found in the diet. This property is not shared by the other food preservatives currently found in the marketplace like sorbates, benzoates, sulphites, nitrites and nitrates.

Ethyl lauroyl arginate is effective as a preservative against bacteria, yeast and moulds in a wide range of food products because it is able to disrupt the integrity of the cell membranes of these microorganisms (Journal of Applied Microbiology, 96 (5) 903-912 (2004)). Efficacy shown through out MIC’s (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) is extremely high. For instance, in Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria MIC’s are between 8 and 64 μg/ml as an average, and in yeast and mould are between 16 and 128 μg/m. Although these low MIC values, such antimicrobial activity is limited to the cationic features of Ethyl lauroyl arginate when is used in foodstuff. In this sense, when Ethyl lauroyl arginate is used at industrial level, some matrices (meat as an example) make this molecule less effective due to chemical interactions between proteins which are anionic and the arginine moiety of Ethyl lauroyl arginate which is cationic. Thus, in such cases, the Ethyl lauroyl arginate concentration needed is higher (especially inside meat processed products).

Investigations have proved that Ethyl lauroyl arginate causes the inactivation or neutralisation of the endotoxins released by Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes, in order to mitigate the damage caused by endotoxins in animals and human beings.

Safe and effective products for the treatment of viral infections are constantly needed. In this sense, VEDEQSA has commissioned several investigations to study the efficacy of Ethyl lauroyl arginate against certain virus. The results of these investigations have proved a strong antiviral activity which was specially observed in viruses of Vaccinia, Herpes simplex and bovine parainfluenzae virus types.

VEDEQSA also draws the attention to the fact that lauric arginate has applications in cosmetics as an active ingredient in hygienic soaps, deodorants, oral care and anti-dandruff products, and as a preservative.

The following tables show the minimum inhibitory concentrations of LAE® against different types of microorganisms, mostly pathogens, which give an insight into LAE® wide range of activity and great effectiveness. The results were obtained by Dr. Manresa, from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Barcelona:




Alicyclobacillus acidiphilus DSMZ 14558 8
Arthrobacter oxydans ATCC 8010 64
Bacillus cereus var mycoide ATCC 11778 32
Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 16
Clostridium botulinum ATCC 19397 64
Clostridium estertheticum   (ATCC 51377) 32
Clostridium perfringes ATCC 77454 16
Clostridium perfringes ATCC 12917 16
Lactobacillus curvatus ATCC 25601 16
Lactobacillus delbrueckkii ssp lactis ATCC 10705 16
Lactobacillus paracasei ATCC 25302 16
Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 8014 16
Listeria monocytogenes B4/97 [1] 8
Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 15313 32
Leuconostoc mesenteroides ATCC 19255 32
Microccocus luteus ATCC 9631 128
Mycobacterium phlei ATCC 41423 2
Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 8




Alcaligenes faecalis ATCC 8750 64
Bordetella bronchiseptica ATCC 4617 128
Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 29428 8
Citrobacter freundii ATCC 22636 64
Enterobacter aerogenes ATCC 13048 32
Enterobacter faecalis ATCC 27285 4
Enterobacter sakazakii ATCC 29544 32
Escherichia coli 0157H7 ATCC 35150 32
Escherichia coli ATCC 8739 32
Klebsiella pneumoniae var pneumoniae ATCC 4352 32
Proteus mirabilis CECT 170 32
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 32
Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC 13430 32
Salmonella cholerasuis ATCC 13076 8
Salmonella typhimurium ATCC 14028 32
Shigella dysentariae ATCC 13313 8
Serratia marcenses ATCC 10759 32
Yersinia enterocolitica ATCC 27729 16
Vibrio parahaemoliticus ATCC 17802 128




Candida albicans ATCC 10231 16
Rhodotorula rubra CECT 1158 16
Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 9763 32




Aspergillus niger ATCC 14604 32
Aureobasidium pullulans ATCC 9348 16
Gliocadium virens ATCC 4645 32
Chaetonium globosum ATCC 6205 16
Penicillium chrysogenum ATCC 9480 128
Penicillium funiculosum CECT 2914 16

[1] Isolated from polluted meat by Microbiology Unity, Pharmacy faculty, University of Barcelona.


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