Microbial lipases are being drawn more and more attention as a class of catalyst with powerful function. There are many kinds of them, which widely exist in mold, yeast and bacteria. Furthermore, the microbial lipases from different sources have different physical enzymatic properties and gene structure. The present researches, both domestic and abroad, about the optimum temperature, the pH and pH stability, substrate specificity, the effect of enzyme activity, gene structure and application of Rhizopus lipase, Aspergillus lipase, Penicillium lipase, Mucor lipase, Geotrichum lipase, Candida lipase and bacterial lipase, and their applications were summarized. The progress of lipase in the food processing industry was discussed.