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

The Commercial Application of Enzyme Technology

Extracts from this document...


"The Commercial Application of Enzyme Technology" Enzymes are used in particular industries for a number of reasons. Firstly they accelerate reactions by lowering the activation energy. Enzymes are proteins, which determines their specificity. Consequently they react with only one substrate to produce a specific product. This minimises the production of unwanted by-products. They work at moderate temperatures, neutral pH and normal atmospheric pressures and are therefore energy saving, and relatively inexpensive to produce. They are biodegradable and are therefore environmentally friendly, causing less pollution. The majority of enzymes which industries use originate from microbes, other alternatives included plants and animals; however, these aren't used as frequently. Microbes are generally preferred to plants and animals as sources of enzymes because they are generally cheaper to produce. However, enzymes do have certain disadvantages. They are extremely sensitive to changes in pH and temperature. As the temperature increases so does the rate of reaction until the optimum temperature is reached. However, the pH must be kept neutral, if it becomes too acidic or alkaline, then the enzymes could denature. Therefore, for the commercial use of enzymes it is better to choose enzymes with a fairly broad optimum pH range. ...read more.


This particular enzyme is used in the immobilised form because it is relatively expensive to produce, therefore it is easier to recover the enzyme and reuse them. Enzymes have been employed in the detergent industry for years, they are depended upon to remove proteins, starches and lipids, which can originate from blood, grass, sweat, milk etc. The main enzyme used in the detergent industry initially was protease, which catalyses the breakdown of protein molecules such as blood. However, recent developments have introduced "a cocktail of enzymes" (www.enzymes.co.uk) which included lipase's and amylases. Lipase's concentrate on the breakdown of fatty substances such as oils. They hydrolyse the ester bonds in triglycerides, which are a major component of fats. Amylase focuses on the breakdown of starchy deposits, from products such as food. The advantage of using these enzymes is that they are specific, thus removing the desired stain without damaging fabrics. Cellulases were also introduced because when detergents were used "small fibres are raised from the surface of cotton thread, resulting in a change in the 'feel' of the fabric and, particularly, in the lowering of the brightness of colours." (http://www.sbu.ac.uk/biology/enztech/detergent.html) Consequently cellulase was introduced to remove the small fibres, without damaging surrounding, major fibres. ...read more.


Enzymes are particularly used in "soy sauce production, gelatin hydrolysis and pet food manufacture." (www.enzymes.co.uk) However, enzymes can cause "quality impairment when they continue to work beyond the point of perfection." (Biological Sciences Review May 1998) Flavours, colour and texture can change as a result of this. For example "the loss of colour in fruits can be due to hydrolysis of anthocyanins and changes in carotenoid pigments." (Biological Sciences Review May 1998) Enzymes also have parts in pharmaceuticals and diagnostic industries, however, the applications of enzymes have not been as extensive as other industries. The most successful applications are extracellular enzymes, which means that they are secreted by the micro-organism which creates them. Enzymes have been used to treat genetic disorders, when some people are unable to produce the required enzymes. Enzymes are used in a wide variety of industries, for example to enhance flavour and as additives in detergents and the brewing industry. They provide many advantages for different industrial processes. They have also benefited industries in terms of cost, with the introduction of techniques such as enzyme immobilisation. Enzymes have been widely used in the food industries making them more competitive and they have helped in medicine and pharmaceuticals. Consequently, enzymes will be used further in the future as technology progresses. In addition they are a vital part of a number of diverse industrial processes. ...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)

    (Note: this experiment was still done before the enzyme change was decided.) Upon using a graduated pipette to fill the wells in this experiment, I also needed to find out the volume of concentration solution each different size well held.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Effect of temperature on the enzyme pectinase in fruit juice production.

    3 star(s)

    Following this study, I decided to use 2 Cm3 of 2% Pectinase solution for the main experiment. The main experiment will be conducted at a temperature range of 0-80 degrees at 10 degrees intervals to obtain a sufficient number of dissimilar results.

  1. Liver and its role

    I will have to use same cream at all time, as different creams may have different amount of the fats in them. After collecting apparatus I will use small beaker to pour some of the cream, which then will be used in the actual experiment.


    In addition I will need 20cm of calcium chloride, to drop the beads into. A glass rod will be needed to stir the alginate and lactose solution to ensure that the liquids are properly mixed. I will then need to get three 10cm syringe.

  1. Current and future biotechnological applications of Extremophiles.

    For oceanic crust, where the temperature rises about 15�C per km of depth, a tolerance of 110�C (for hyperthermophiles) would allow microbial life to extend down to about 7 km below the seafloor. For continental crust, where the temperature rise is faster, a 110�C threshold would allow life to continue at depths of up to 4 km.

  2. The Effect of Concentration on Pectinase Using Apple

    The range from 0.10% to 5.00% was chosen because this is a wide range and therefore the difference in results obtained should be large enough to find valid conclusions. 6 filter papers, 6 funnels and 6 measuring cylinders I will use measuring cylinders that can hold 5ml because the juice

  1. Investigation into Pectinase

    7 6 7 8 8.5 9 PH 11 5.6 7 8 8.8 9.6 These results show that pectinase works most effectively at PH 2. From my research I have found that the optimum PH for main pectinase activity is usually in the acidic range of 4.8 to 5.0.

  2. The Application of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine.

    Increasing the temperature of an enzyme -controlled reaction will increase the rate of reaction but only up to its optimum temperature. Any increase in temperature increases the energy of a single atom. This means that in an enzyme, the bonds between the polypeptide chain, would begin to be affected.

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