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Applications of Enzymes in Food Industry

  • Fungal a-amylase finds use in the baking industry. It often needs to be added to bread-making flours to promote adequate gas production and starch modification during fermentation.

  • Certain proteases have been used in food processing for centuries and any record of the discovery of their activity has been lost in the mists of time.

  • Rennet (mainly chymosin), obtained from the fourth stomach (abomasum) of unweaned calves has been used traditionally in the production of cheese.

  • Similarly, papain from the leaves and unripe fruit of the pawpaw (Carica papaya) has been used to tenderise meats.

  • Proteases may be used at various pH values, and they may be highly specific in their choice of cleavable peptide links or quite non-specific.

  • Proteolysis generally increases the solubility of proteins at their isoelectric points.

  • The sucrose industry is a comparatively minor user of enzymes but provides few historically significant and instructive examples of enzyme technology. The most familiar 'Golden Syrup' produced by acid hydrolysis of one of the less pure streams from the cane sugar refinery but other types of syrup are produced using yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) invertase.

  • Lactases are now used in the production of ice cream and sweetened flavoured and condensed milks.

  • A major application of the glucose oxidase/catalase system is in the removal of glucose from egg-white before drying for use in the baking industry.

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