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Use of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine

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Use of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine I have to investigate the uses of enzymes in industry and medicine and to indicate the advantages and disadvantages of the uses. I will explore various industrial and medical uses which will then allow me to reach a conclusion if enzymes are useful in commercial use. What Are Enzymes? Enzymes are produced by living cells, with each cell containing several hundred enzymes. They are very specific; they only react with one substrate. They are able to speed up the rate of chemical reactions. All enzymes are proteins and therefore have a tertiary structure. Each enzyme is a specific shape with an active site which is specific to one substrate molecule. When the active site and substrate combine then, enzyme substrate complexes are formed. Examples of where used in industry Enzymes have several applications in industry and medicine. Examples include: paper industry, starch industry, leather and textile industry, baking industry, beer brewing industry, detergent industry and pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry. Paper Industry In the paper industry, wood is the main source for paper, after a process of pulping, they use ligninases to speed up removal of lignin from pulverised wood. Then amylase is used for partial breakdown of starch for sizing the paper and also to fill the gaps between fibres to produce smooth quality paper... ...read more.


There are no disadvantages for using enzymes in these areas. (Aspects from 5) Baking Industry A number of enzymes are applied in the baking industry. The wheat flour used in bread making naturally contains "occurring enzymes that modify the starch, protein and fibre fraction of the flour when water is added to the flour to make dough." (www.enzymes.co.uk) the yeast accommodates enzymes, which ferment maltose, which in turn produces carbon dioxide, making the bread rise. Enzymes play an important role in bread making. Enzymes such as xylanase (water absorption) a-amylase (freshness), protease and glucose oxidase (strengthen gluten) and lipase (controlling taste, loaf volume, crumb texture and staling properties). These enzymes are used to get continuous quality of products. Consequently correct enzymes must be used; otherwise this could have harmful effects on the dough or finished bread. An advantage of using enzymes in baking industry is that we get continuous quality of the products. There are no disadvantages in using enzymes in the baking industry. Brewing Industry Beer brewing also involves the use of enzymes. Traditionally in beer brewing the nutrients are released from the yeast by the process of malting whereby barley is allowed to partly germinate during the which endogenous enzymes are released which degrade starch and proteins to simple sugars and amino acids which can be utilised by the yeast cells. ...read more.


Future: Enzymes will be used further in the future as technology progresses. Also magnetic catalysts are becoming more common and scientists have come up with a idea which they are testing is how to prevent magnetic particles being destroyed by the various reactions. "This looks like a major advance for catalysis technology and could have far reaching consequences for the industry" is what is being said by experts of enzymes. (8) Conclusion: In conclusion, it is obvious that enzymes have a wide range of uses within industry, analysis, and diagnosis and disease treatment. There are clearly more advantages of enzymes in industry than disadvantages. The unique properties of enzymes allowing them to carry out reactions at lower temperatures suitable for the human body (which is vital in all the above examples), their high specificity allowing them to locate tiny amounts of a substance in a large mixture quickly, their availability and cheapness and the fact that they are not used up within experiments make them very useful and essential in many of life's every day processes. I my opinion enzymes have been very useful in industry and medicine. Biography Websites - (www.enzymes.co.uk) (1) (http://www.sbu.ac.uk/biology/enztech/detergent.html) (2) (www.bio.org/er/enzymes.asp) (3) (www.enzymes.novo.dk/enzymes/beverage-industry.html) (4) (www.biocon.com/html/eui/leather.htm) (5) Books- Advanced Biology Principles and Applications Second Edition-CJ Clegg with D G Mackean Published in 2000 by John Murray Publishers LTD Page No. 188 (6) Introduction to Advanced Biology -CJ Clegg Published in 2000 by John Murray Publishers LTD Page No. 95 (7) Magazine- NewScientist-Week beginning 13th November 2004 Vol: 184 No 2473 Page No. 27 (8) ...read more.

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