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Uses of Enzymes - Pectinase and fruit juice production

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Introduction

Natalia Restrepo 12/10/04 Uses of Enzymes Pectinase and fruit juice production Pectinase consists of a mixture of enzymes that break down Pectin. It is gel-like and is found in the primary cells of a plant and in the middle lamella (a cementing layer between two plant cells). Many microorganisms use pectinase to attack plants by breaking down their cell wall that contains pectin and helps the cell wall maintain its structure. Pectinase is used in the production of fruit juice, where they help extract, clarify and modify the juices. Pectinase found in: Pectinase is produced during the natural ripening stages of most fruits. Through this process, it helps soften the fruits' cell walls. The enzyme breaks down pectins which are found in plant cell walls. This increases the yield of juice extracted from the fruits by 20% and only 150 cm3 are needed for a ton of apples. ...read more.

Middle

Currently used food enzymes sometimes originate in animals and plants (for example, a starch-digesting enzyme, amylase, can be obtained from germinating barley seeds) but most come from a range of beneficial micro-organisms. Using enzymes in food production has five main advantages: * They are biodegradable meaning that they are made of substances that will decay relatively quickly and will decompose naturally * They are welcomed as an alternative to chemicals like synthetics * They have fewer side reactions than synthetic chemicals which means that they also give products of high quality and reduce the chances of pollution * They allow some processes to be carried out which would otherwise be impossible. (An example is the production of clear apple juice concentrate, which relies on the use of the enzyme, pectinase.) * So far, there have been no reports of consumer allergies to enzyme residues in food. ...read more.

Conclusion

The enzyme lactase hydrolyses lactose to give lactose-free milk products. This is very beneficial to people who are lactose intolerant because they are provided with the enzyme that they need in order to break down the dairy products that they consume (Lactose intolerance is a condition resulting from low activity or absence of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for the digestion of milk sugar.) Lactase produced commercially can be extracted from yeast fungi. Its main commercial use is to break down lactose in milk to make it suitable for people with lactose intolerance. Lactase is also used in the manufacture of ice cream. Because glucose and galactose are sweeter than lactose, lactase produces a more pleasant taste. Lactose also crystallizes at the low temperatures of ice cream, however, in its constituent products stay liquid and contribute to a smoother texture. Lactase is used in the conversion of whey into syrup and is also used as a sweetener in many products. Hydrolysis of Lactose: ...read more.

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