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Calcium ions effect on the rate of coagulation of milk

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  • Essay length: 1171 words
  • Submitted: 13/12/2008
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AS and A Level Molecules & Cells

The first 200 words of this essay...

Practical Examination 1 (Part A - Planning Exercise)

Aim

The aim of the experiment is to find out if the concentration of calcium ions has any effect on the rate of coagulation of milk. To do this I would vary the concentration of calcium ions and see how it affects coagulation.

Prediction

Rennin, also known as Chymosin, belongs to a family of enzymes called the aspartic proteinases (the reason that it belongs to this family is because it possesses an aspartic acid residue at the active site of the enzyme) and is a proteolytic enzyme synthesized by chief cells in the stomach. Its role in digestion is to curdle or coagulate milk in the stomach, a process of considerable importance in the very young animal. If milk were not coagulated, it would rapidly flow through the stomach and miss the opportunity for initial digestion of its proteins.

Rennin efficiently converts liquid milk to a semisolid like cottage cheese, allowing it to be retained for longer periods in the stomach. Rennin secretion is maximal during the first few days after birth, and declines thereafter, replaced in effect by secretion of pepsin as the

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