- Papain is a cysteine
protease hydrolase enzyme present in papaya (Carica papaya) and mountain
papaya (Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis).
- Papain consists of a
single polypeptide chain with three disulfide bridges and a sulfhydryl
group necessary for activity of the enzyme.
- The papain has strong
biological activity and the decomposing ability of protein.
- Papain has a mild,
soothing effect on the stomach and aids in protein digestion.
- It is a
common ingridient in brewery and meat processing.
- Papain is usually
produced as a crude, dried material by collecting the latex from the
fruit of the papaya tree.
- The papaya is
believed native to tropical America, perhaps in southern Mexico and
neighboring Central America.
- Papain is obtained by
cutting the skin of the unripe but almost mature papaya and then
collecting and drying the latex which flows from the cuts.
- The method of drying
is the main factor that determines the final quality of papain.
- Papain is used in the
pharmaceutical industry, in medicine as well as in the food processing
- Use of papain in the
meat industry for the tenderisation of meat and the production of meat
- Papain is commonly
used in cell isolation procedures where it has proven more efficient and
less destructive than other proteases on certain tissues.
- Papain has been
employed to treat ulcers, dissolve membranes in diphtheria, and reduce
swelling, fever and adhesions after surgery.
- A two-stage papain
technique is described in which cell washing after papain treatment is
replaced by the addition of a specific papain inhibitor.
The tenderizing effects of crude
papain, crystalline papain, denatured crude papain, ashed crude papain
and sodium chloride has been studied using injection technique.
papain solution for red cell
grouping has been
investigated using Low's technique.
- The market for papain
in Europe is getting smaller as alternatives are found and it may be
banned from some foods (eg beers) in the near future.
- The principal
producers of crude papain are Zaire, Tanzania, Uganda and Sri Lanka.
Most of the spray-dried papain comes from Zaire.
Demand for papain from breweries is declining as cheaper
and more readily available substitutes are being used to emulate
- The US
market has been estimated at up to double the EU market or roughly 300
to 400 Mts per year.
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