Enzymes in Industry

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Enzymes in Industry

Enzymes are described as chemical a catalyst that is they speed up the rate of reaction.

Enzymes have enormous potential in the commercial world. They are cheap to use in industry and they do not need high temperatures to work. They work at neutral PH and normal atmospheric pressure. This reduces the costs of fuel in industry and are energy saving. Also, enzymes can be reused. This means that they are needed in relatively small amounts in comparison with Inorganic catalysts. Once a suitable enzyme has been found, it is made on a larger scale and purified before use. Enzymes are specific in their action. They only react with one substrate to produce a specific product. They
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Brewing: Beer brewing essentially involves the production of alcohol by the action of yeasts on plant materials such as barley, maize, sorghum, hops and rice. The yeast cells are capable of converting simple sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. However, most of the sugar present in plant materials is in the form of complex polysaccharides such as starch and cannot be readily utilised. Traditionally these nutrients are "released" by the process of malting whereby barley is allowed to partly germinate during which endogenous enzymes are released which degrade starch and protein to simple sugars and amino acids which can be utilised by the yeast cells. The malting process is a relatively expensive way of manufacturing enzymes and is not always easy to control. Industrial enzymes such as amylases, glucanases and proteases can be added to unmalted barley resulting in the same simple sugars and amino acids that malting would liberate but in a more controlled fashion. Enzymes also play an important role as filtration improvers. Slow filtration of the mash or final beer often results from the presence of viscous polysaccharides. Amyloglucosidase can be used to break down sugars to produce low calorie beer.

Detergents: Enzymes have been used in the detergent industry since
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