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Enzymes in the Starch and Sugar Industry

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Enzymes in the Starch and Sugar Industry In this essay I will attempt to explore the uses and other important aspects of using enzymes in the starch and sugar industry. I will proceed through the different properties of the starch and sugar industries demonstrating their particular uses. The starch industry began using industrial enzymes at an early date. Special types of syrup that could not be produced using conventional chemical hydrolysis were the first compounds made entirely by enzymatic processes. Many valuable products are derived from starch. There has been heavy investment into enzyme research in this field and intensive development work on application processes. Reaction efficiency, specific action, the ability to work under mild conditions and a high degree of purification and standardisation all make enzymes ideal catalysts for the starch industry. The moderate temperatures and pH values used for the reactions, mean that few by-products affecting flavour and colour are formed. Furthermore, enzyme reactions are easily controlled and can be stopped when the desired degree of starch conversion is reached. The first enzyme preparation (glucoamylase) for the food industry in the early 1960's was the real turning point. This enzyme breaks down starch completely to glucose. Soon afterwards almost all glucose production changed over from acid hydrolysis to enzymatic hydrolysis because of the clear product benefits of greater yields, a higher degree of purity and easier crystallisation. However, the most significant event came in 1973 with the development of immobilised glucose isomerase, which made the industrial production of high fructose syrup feasible. ...read more.


The temperature of the partially liquefied starch is then reduced to 90-100C by flashing, and the enzyme is allowed to react further at this temperature for 1-2 hours until the required dextrose equivalent is obtained. The enzyme hydrolyses the alpha-1,4-glucosidic bonds in pregelatinised starch, whereby the viscosity of the gel rapidly decreases and maltodextrins are produced. The process may be terminated at this point, the solution purified and dried. Maltodextrins (DE 15-25) are commercially valuable for their rheological properties. They are used as bland-fasting functional ingredients in the food industry as fillers, stabilisers, thickeners, pastes and glues in dry soup mixes, infant foods, sauces, gravy mixes, etc. The next step is saccharification, when maltodextrins are saccharified by further hydrolysis using glucoamylase or fungal alpha-amylase, a variety of sweeteners can be produced. These have dextrose equivalents in the ranges 40-50 (maltose), 50-55 (high maltose), 55-70 (high conversion syrup). By applying a series of enzymes including beta-amylase, glucoamylase and pullulanase as debranching enzymes, intermediate-level conversion syrups with maltose contents of nearly 80% can be produced. A high yield of 95-97% glucose may be produced from most starch raw materials (maize, wheat, potatoes, tapioca, barley and rice). The third enzymatic step is known as isomerisation. Glucose can be isomerised to fructose in a reversible reaction. Under industrial conditions, the equilibrium point is reached when the level of fructose is 50%. The reaction also produces small amounts of heat that must be removed continuously. To avoid a lengthy reaction time, the conversion is normally stopped at a yield of about 45% fructose. ...read more.


In this case, dextran is usually a problem when the beets have been damaged by frost. The cure, however, is the same: treatment with dextranase. All of the enzymes that are used in the starch and sugar industries are wide ranging and are used for various different applications within the processes. Dextranase is used for the breaking down of dextran in raw sugar juice, as mentioned above. Finizym is used to improve the filterability of wheat starch hydrolysates. Fructozyme is applied in the hydrolysis of inulin to fructose. Both fungamyl and maltogenase are fungal alpha-amylases used for making high maltose and special glucose syrups. There is also an enzyme called promozyme, a pullulanase for debranching starch after liquefaction and reducing the oligosaccharide content of glucose syrups. You can see where this particular enzyme would be used, in the liquefaction stage as mentioned earlier. Shearzyme is an enzyme used improved wheat gluten/starch separation. Sweetzyme is a glucose isomerase for converting glucose into fructose. Termamyl has already been mentioned earlier on, as it is used in the liquefaction of starch to dextrin, incidentally there is more recent enzyme called termamyl type LS, this is an improved version of termamyl. Another enzyme put to use in these industries is toruzyme, a heat-stable cyclomaltodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase) for cyclodextrin production. As you can see there are many various enzymes in the modern day starch and sugar industries, which result in improved yields of products. They are incredibly important for today's growing demand, and without them we would find things to be a fair bit different. Duncan Beard. ...read more.

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