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Use of Enzymes in Biotechnology

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Use of Enzymes in Biotechnology In this essay I will attempt to explore the uses and other important aspects of using enzymes in biotechnology, pondering over some of the most well known industries to current everyday life. Enzymes are used in an ever widening range of industrial applications including but not limited to detergents manufacture, textile modification, leather processing, paper production, and food production. Enzymes are also used in the pharmaceutical industry for the bioprocessing of therapeutic molecules where their specificity, efficiency, and biodegradability are particularly advantageous. For instance, proteases such as trypsin and carboxypeptidase B are useful for the bioprocessing of therapeutic proteins. An example of such use is the manufacture of insulin via microbial fermentation that requires both of these enzymes in order to process the fermentation derived insulin precursor into a therapeutic entity identical to human insulin. Biotechnology has been defined as: * The application of biological organisms, systems or processes to manufacturing and service industries. * The integrated use of biochemistry, microbiology and engineering sciences in order to achieve technological application capabilities of micro-organisms, cultured tissue cells and parts thereof. * The application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services. ...read more.


restriction endonucleases and DNA polymerases). * Diagnostic procedures also frequently utilise enzymes - some examples include luciferase, glucose oxidase. Enzymes in the fermentation industries are absolutely vital for such productions as wine. Wine making is essentially the fermentation of grape juice. The extraction of the grape juice is however a more complicated process than other fruit juices as the extraction of flavour components and colours (in the case of red wines) is far more important. Grapes are harvested for wine making before the fruits have fully ripened. The unripe fruit therefore contain large amounts of insoluble protopectin which can absorb large quantities of juice during pressing and also result in viscous solutions which are difficult to process. The addition of pectinases during mashing can hydrolyse the pectins which increases the yield of juice, clarifies the resulting juice and prevents the juice from gelling. Some grapes also contain large amounts of arabinoxylans which can be treated with xylanases to aid processing. Another specific problem in winemaking is the frequent infection of the grapes by the fungus Botrytis cinerea which produces beta-glucans which pass into the wine. These large molecular glucans hinder the clarification of the wine by clogging the filtration devices. The addition of beta-glucanases can overcome this effect. ...read more.


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. Food processing is maybe the most important of all biotechnology industries as we require food to stay alive, it's part of our everyday life. As you would probably expect the enzymes involved in this industry are too numerous to be able to name in detail here, so a brief analysis is given. The baking industry has already been covered earlier on, that on its own belongs to the food processing industry. Enzymes can be used to modify raw materials and aid in the processing or cooking stages. The roles of enzymes include: enhancement of flavour and aroma, removal of unwanted flavours and taints, enhancement of digestibility, modification of texture to aid processing and final product appearance, upgrading raw materials. The main enzyme activity utilised in food processing applications is protease. However, applications utilising lipases and carbohydrate degrading activities are also becoming widespread. Some well known specific applications include: * Cheesemaking - rennet is responsible for curd production from milk, many flavours in cheeses are a result of protease action. * Production of infant milk formulas from cows milk. * Soy sauce production. * Production of hydrolysed vegetable protein. * Gelatin hydrolysis. * Production of meat extracts. * Pet food manufacture. ...read more.

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