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Industrial & Commercial Uses for Enzymes

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Introduction

Enzymes : Commercial and Industrial Uses An enzyme is a molecule made up of proteins made to do a specific job; and they are biological catalysts. A biological catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction; though in the process isn't used up themselves. They remain undamaged; which means that you can use them repeatedly for a single job and they won't ever wear out. This makes them a very valuable substance in the industry because even though they may be expensive to start with, they are essentially self-sustaining. They are also very useful commercially, as will be listed in the following: * Washing Powders - Enzymes are used in washing powders to help break down the food stains; and a lot of the dish/washing machine powders which boast about having a lot better stain removal powers actually use enzymes to help. They do this by adding several different enzymes such as lipase (fats), protease (proteins) and amylase (starches) to the powder. These help break down food stains which ordinarily contain most of the foodstuffs listed above. ...read more.

Middle

Lactase breaks down the major component in milk, lactose, into two simple sugars. These are glucose and galactose. As a result yoghurt is more easily digested. -- Now, I'm going to talk about the industrial uses of enzymes. As said before at the introduction, enzymes are very important to the industry because of their property to not stop working; being able to do a job without being used up themselves. This ability is why the industry has, and is, using and experimenting with a lot of different enzymes, to be explained in the following: * Starch Hydrolysis & Fructose Production - Two main enzymes carry out the conversion of starch into glucose; alpha-amylase and fungal enzymes. Fructose is produced from sucrose as a starting material, and then sucrose is split into glucose and more fructose by the enzyme invertase. The fructose is separated and crystallized. * Textiles - Amylase, Catalase and Lactase are all used to remove the starch and hydrogen peroxide, as well as bleach the textiles and degrade the lignin. ...read more.

Conclusion

The enzymes in the yeast and bacteria were utilized to reduce aging, help clarify or stabilize the product, or help control alcohol and sugar contents. In short, enzymes are used everywhere in all ranges of food and drink. * Biodegradable Plastics - Plastics manufactured traditionally (by-product of oil) come from non-renewable hydrocarbon resources, which means their structure doesn't enable them to be broken down easily by micro-organisms. Enzymes in certain bacteria that can produce granules of plastic in their cells have been cloned as a way to harvest more eco-friendly, degradable plastic. However, their cost is why this method of plastic production has been boycotted. But, since enzymes don't get used up themselves during their chemical reaction, this process could soon start to become very successful, despite the costs involved. * Leather - The leather industry uses a lot of proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes to remove unwanted parts of the leather. For example, the dehairing and dewooling processes involve proteases and bacteria together to assist the alkaline chemical process. This results in a more environmentally friendly curing process and also improves the quality of the material. Bacterial and fungal enzymes are also used to make the leather soft and easier to dye. ...read more.

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