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The application of enzymes in industry and medicine

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The application of enzymes in industry and medicine * Enzymes in the textile and leather industries Enzymes have been used in the leather industry for many years and more recently have been introduced into modern textile industries. The main applications of enzymes in the leather industry are proteases which help in the dehairing of the animal hides and lipases are used for degreasing. Modern fabrics are reinforced with an adhesive called "the size" before weaving. This prevents breaking of the warp threads. Starch is the most common ingredient of the size, combined with lower quantities of other materials such as gelatine and carboxymethylcellulose (cellulose that has been treated to make it water soluble). Harsher chemicals such as alkalis or acids have been traditionally used for desizing, but are now being replaced by enzymes. Apart from the environmental benefit of replacing harsh chemicals with biodegradable enzymes, enzymes have turned out to be less harsh on the main fabric as well. Most desizing preparations declare ?-amylase activity but will contain protease and cellulase as well. In the modern textile industry enzymes are used increasingly in the finishing of fabrics and clothes. ...read more.


Mechanical pulping gives a high yield of pulp but is of poor quality as lignin components are not significantly solid. Such mechanical pulps are mainly used for the manufacture of newsprint. Other applications of enzymes in pulp and paper manufacture include pich control, modification of starch for coated papers and cellulose fibre modification to produce softer tissue papers. * Enzymes in Baking Bread baking is one of the most common food processing techniques throughout the world although the bread products of different countries vary in their finished form. The basic component of all bread is wheat flour to which is added water, salt and yeast. Other ingredients are sometimes added such as sugar, fats and flavouring components. The main components of wheat flour and their relative abundance are 82% starch, 12% protein and 3% fibre. The wheat flour has naturally occurring enzymes that modify the starch, protein and fibre fraction of the flour when water is added to the flour to make the dough. Similarly the added yeast also have their enzymes and ferment maltose and other sugars during the "proving" stage to produce carbon dioxide that makes the bread rise. ...read more.


Enzymes also play an important role as filtration improvers. Slow filtration of the mash or final beer often results from the presence of viscous polysaccharides such as xylans and glucans. Pretreatment with xylanases or glucanases break down these viscous polysaccharides thereby increasing filtration rates and preventing fouling of filtration membranes. * Fruit Juices Enzymes are used in the processing of noncitrus fruits to maximise the production of clear juice. Nearly all fruits and berries contain pectins and other polysaccharides such as starch and aribinoxylans. Pectins hold the fruit cells together like a "glue" and result in poor liberation of juice during pulping. The presence of soluble pectins in the subsequent juice also causes hazing. The addition of pectin degrading enzymes (pectin methyl esterase, polygalacturonase and pectin lyase) at the pulping stage increases the yield of juice and helps in the clarification. Pectin degrading enzymes are particularly important in the production of fruit juice concentrates as pectins can form very viscous gels, which delay filtration and concentration to high levels of dissolved solids. Cellulases also play a role in the extraction of juice from berries where juice yield together with the extraction of colour and flavour components can be difficult. ...read more.

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