• 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 Medicine.

Extracts from this document...


THE APPLICATION OF ENZYMES IN INDUSTRY AND MEDICINE Enzymes are biological catalysts that lower the activation energy for a reaction to take place. Enzymes have many advantageous qualities that allow them to be used in industry and medicine: * Enzymes are not used up in reactions; each molecule repeatedly carries out the same process. This makes enzyme technology very efficient as enzymes can be reused. * They have specificity. One type of enzyme will decompose one substrate into a particular product therefore there is no wastage of resources. * Enzymes are biodegradable; therefore there is little pollution in this industry. * Enzymes function at moderate temperatures, pressure and pH so energy is saved. Until recently most biotechnology involved whole organisms therefore many enzyme pathways were involved but now isolated enzymes can be used. There is still a lot of biotechnology taking place using whole organisms though e.g. yeast used in baking and alcohol production. ...read more.


Therefore the word "fermentation" could be used to describe enzyme technology. Probably, the most important type of "fermentation" as scientists use the term, is alcoholic fermentation. The enzymes: diastase, zymase and invertase break down starch by hydrolysis into complex sugars, then simple sugars, and finally alcohol. Hemicellulases such as amyloglucosidase can then be used to break down sugars again to produce low-calorie beer which is now more desirable in the industry. Isolated enzymes can be used in food manufacture and have been for many years. One example of which is cheese manufacture. After the lactic acid bacteria in the milk converts the lactose to lactic acid by the use of the enzyme lactase, curd and whey begin to separate and the process is encouraged by the addition of the enzyme rennet. Rennet is found in the stomach of milk-drinking mammals. To obtain rennet for cheese making it is usually extracted from the lining of the stomach of a calf, dried as a powder, then dissolved in water as required. ...read more.


When fixed onto a strip of gel together with a dye, a change in colour appears when the enzymes are active. Rhodococcus breaks down heroin to morphine and then Pseudomonas breaks down the morphine and by doing so a chemical change occurs which causes the colourless dye to turn red. When samples of unknown substances are placed on the gel or blood plasma, the presence or lack of presence of heroin can be detected. This drug is illegal and therefore these enzymes have great potential. Some animal feed industries have formed from the waste products of agricultural forestry. Most wood waste is not very useful as it contains lignocellulose and few organisms can break this down to form useful products but lignases from Sporotrichum pulverulentum make cellulose available for animal feed as they can break down the waste lignocellulose to useful products. Biological washing powders are so called because they contain biological enzymes. These enzymes can break down organic stains on the clothing being washed and therefore remove stubborn stains from the clothes. These enzymes are mainly proteases and are very valuable digestive enzymes. ...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

    Investigating respiration of maggots

    5 star(s)

    Therefore the maggots must remain in a known temperature so the rate of respiration is steady. As temperature is a variable in my experiment, I must make sure the temperature of the maggots remains constant throughout the experiments. I will vary the temperature from 10 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius in 10*c intervals.

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    Taking this information, and looking at my graph, all except the 4% value seem to have fairly small range bars. This is a good this, as a small range bar means there is not much difference between all the results, thereby making the average value slightly more accurate.

  1. The Application of Enzymes In Medicine

    The amount of urea present can be calculated according to the amount of ammonium produced in a given time, (4, pg. 83). Enzymes are also used as supplements for those who have enzyme deficiencies.

  2. Use of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine

    Also starch is needed in the baking industry, brewing industry so the enzyme can be bought in large quantities to be using in the different areas, also energy is saved because enzymes reduces the activation energy. There are no disadvantages.

  1. Enzymes and Micro-organisms

    In 1989 amylase was added to biotech to make it more effective over a larger range of stains. Now some of the future developments with enzymes used in washing powders were since proteases was currently worked best at 55o C there is a big search for new enzymes with an optimum temperature of 20 o C - 30 o C.

  2. 'The application of enzymes in industry and medicine'.

    The protease used in therapy of thromboembolic diseases infarction, (deep venous thrombosis, (or else known as economy class syndrome)) is called tissue plasminogen activator. The Nuclease enzyme is considered as a possible therapy for cystic fibrosis. * Proteases are also used in wound therapy.

  1. The Application of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine.

    The flexible enzyme then returns to its original state ready for the next substrate molecule. The human body contains at least 1000 different enzymes. Less than 200 enzymes are used out of the roughly 2500 which have been isolated and described so far.

  2. The Application Of Enzymes In Industry And Medicine.

    In these cases stains are loosened by the enzyme action prior to the main wash in a detergent. These products result in cheaper detergents and more energy saved due to lower temperature washing. Enzymes being used in dishwasher detergents is also becoming popular.

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