• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Application of Enzymes in Industry and in Medicine

Extracts from this document...


The Application of Enzymes in Industry and in Medicine Enzymes are biological catalysts, they are chemical compounds made inside the cells of living organisms. Enzymes speed up the rate of most chemical reactions without altering the end product. Enzymes only generally work with one certain substrate. The enzymes provide an active site, which is the same shape as the substrate molecules; the substrate binds with the enzyme and causes the reaction to speed up. Enzymes work best at their optimum temperature. Enzymes are used in the making of many things in the industry. They are used in the dairy industry, brewing industry, baking industry, agricultural forestry, leather industry, biological washing powders and medicine. The use of enzymes in the diagnosis of diseases is one of the most important finds from the intensive research in biochemistry. It is only in the last recent decades that interest in analytical enzymology has grown dramatically. All known enzymes are proteins. They are high molecular weight compounds made up of chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. (See diagram below it shows a typical protein). There are many advantages in using enzymes in industry, one being that they are very specific in their action, they only react with one certain product and are unlikely to produce any unwanted by-products. ...read more.


Enzymes in agriculture: the only major agricultural area to utilise enzymes is the feeding of monogastric animals. However, there are two applications, which currently utilise enzymes. Biological silage inoculants frequently contain enzymes in addition to lactic acid bacteria. The enzymes in such products partially break down some of the cell wall components of the plant material to be ensiled into soluble sugars. These liberated sugars are then metabolised by the natural or applied lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacilli or Pediococci into lactic acid, which reduces the pH and so ensiles the crop. Some enzyme preparations have been reported to improve the utilisation of feeds for ruminant animals. The uses of enzymes in arable agriculture especially in the processing of some major crops and in waste disposal systems are areas, which have not been fully investigated. An enzyme in beer brewing essentially involves the production of alcohol by the action of yeasts on plant materials such as barley, maize, sorghum, hops and rice. The yeast cells are capable of converting simple sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. However, most of the sugar present in plant materials is in the form of complex polysaccharides such as starch and cannot be readily utilised. ...read more.


In fact the company Chiroscience was set-up to investigate the use of enzymes in pharmaceutical manufacture. In a semi-therapeutic way, enzymes are also used to aid digestion, both in humans and animals. In humans, enzymes are used to supplement the natural amylase, lipase and protease produced normally by the pancreas. Many ethnic groups also have a problem called lactose intolerance. This means, as these people get older they lose the enzyme lactase (converts lactose into glucose and galactose). This means they cannot ingest milk or dairy products. Lactase supplements help to avoid stomach upsets for these people. In conclusion it is simple to see that life today as we know it, would be very different without enzymes, in fact it would be impossible as enzymes are used everyday by our bodies to perform what some may see as everyday functions. However in regards to industry and medicine, in particular, enzymes play a huge role. They are used in many of the treatments administered to patients and much more. They also play a major role in industry, becoming over the years a huge, huge market. Quite simply although they go unnoticed by many they are owned a great amount of gratitude and as a great immunologist Dr. Pavels Ivdra once said 'Enzymes the unsung heroes' (Medical Journal 1996). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Molecules & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Molecules & Cells essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does the concentration of enzymes affect the breakdown of starch by a-amylase in ...

    4 star(s)

    a very small period of time, if compared to the first method). Secondly, upon obtaining the results, when adding the iodine solution, a circle of faded colour will be seen where the starch has been broken down. This circle can be measured in diameter, and this measurement can be used as values for the rate of breakdown.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Enzymes in Medicine and Industry

    3 star(s)

    For example enzymes can enhance foods by change of flavour and aroma, removal of unwanted flavours, enhancement of digestibility, modification of texture and final product appearance Disadvantages of Enzymes In industry the use of enzymes tends to add cost to the manufacture of the product thus making the final price higher.

  1. Uses Of Enzymes in Medicine and Industry

    Fructose is used in diet foods rather than glucose because it is sweeter so less is needed and therefore reducing the calorie content. Enzymes are used to remove the hairs from the animal skins to produce leather. A protease enzyme is used, eg trypsin, which partly digests keratin, the main

  2. Free essay

    Cystic Fibrosis

    but a 50% chance of the child becoming a carrier of cystic fibrosis. There is a 0% chance of the offspring becoming unaffected. In ration terms, it is 50:50 (1:1) of the child having cystic fibrosis. Diagram 2... If an unaffected mother wants to have children with a person who

  1. Liver and its role

    This means that the shape of the active site is being permanently changed, so the substrate can no longer fit into it. This is caused that the enzymes are vibrating so fast that the internal structure is being changed, due to some bonds may break because of the vibrations, and

  2. The Application of enzymes in industry

    The fine fibres are degraded by enzymes and this means less water is absorbed. This means that the drainage time is lessened and also less energy is needed to dry the paper. The fibres are coloured and have to be bleached.

  1. The Applications of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine

    Digestion of the insoluble fibrin clot takes place and because the enzymes are proteins this results in a conversion to amino acids, consequently freeing the trapped blood cells and eliminating the clot. This process is called fibrinolysis. Opposite to the prevention of clotting; the enzyme protease can be used as

  2. The Application of Enzymes In Medicine

    Analytic tests are also used by diabetics to measure the amount of glucose in the blood. The glucose oxidase in the strip of paper oxidises the glucose present in the blood, which can be measured according to the colour change which represents the amount of glucose present, (5).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work