What are Enzymes?
The origin of the word enzyme is derived from the Greek word ‘En-zyma’ (enzumon) meaning ‘in yeast.’ Enzymes are protein catalysts, from biological sources.Enzymes are natural proteins that act as catalysts for biochemical reactions. Enzymes are processing aids.
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Why are Enzymes used in food industry?
Enzymes are used extensively in food industries by their site specific, substrate specific action and provide their product good quality and safety, which increases the efficacy of product. All enzymes act as catalysts as it increases the rate of reaction and metabolism is fast.
History of using enzymes as food ingredient
Food processing through the use of biological agents such as enzymes is historically a well-established approach. The earliest applications go back to 6,000 BC, with the brewing of beer, bread baking, and cheese and wine making, whereas the first purposeful microbial oxidation dates from 2,000 BC, with vinegar production. The large-scale application of enzymes only became really established in the 1960s, when the traditional acid hydrolysis of starch was replaced by an approach based in the use of amylases and amyloglucosidases.
Production of Enzymes
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Enzymes are extracted from edible plant and tissues of animals, produced by microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, fungi) have been used since centuries. Rennet is a natural occurring enzyme mixture obtained from stomach of calves and has been used in cheese making. Rennet contains protease enzyme which coagulates milk and used in the production of curd and whey. Yeast is also used for fermentation of grape juice in the preparation of wine.
Now a days, enzymes began to isolate from living cells, which led their large scale commercial production and finds wider application in food industries. Microorganisms are a large source of their production.
Various enzymes used in food industries:
- It converts starch to dextrins in producing corn syrup.
- Used in brewing as it acts as a solubilizer.
- It convertsdextrins to glucose in the production of corn syrup.
- It is used in the production of beer.
- Β-glucanase breaks glucans in malt and helps in filtration in brewing process.
- Enhance flavor and shorten the time for cheese ripening.
- It is used as meat tenderizer.
- It is also used in brewing thereby preventing chill-haze formation by digesting proteins which otherwise react with tannins to form insoluble colloids.
- It is used in cheese making.
- Processing of raw plant and animal protein. Production of fish meals, meat extracts, texturized proteins, and meat extenders.
- It facilitate juice extraction and for clarification and filtration of fruit juice.
- It is used as an additive for dairy products for individuals lacking lactase.
- It breaks lactose in whey products for manufacturing polyactide.
- It reduces the maturation time in wine making by converting acetolactate to acetoin.
- It converts glucose to gluconic acid and prevent Maillard reaction (reaction that gives browned food a particular flavor) in products caused by high heat used in dehydration.
- It converts cellulose waste to fermentable feedstock for ethanol or single-cell protein production.
Uses of enzymes in food products:
- Enzymes are used in fermentation process and used in the production of alcohol.
- Enzymes are used in the processing of raw materials and in production of bakery product.
- They are used in baking bread.
- They facilitate the handling of dough.
- They are used in baking cakes, breads, buns etc.
- They can prolong the ‘resilience’ in cheese, remove liquid milk and reduce whey bitterness.
- They find their usage in brewing.
- They are required for the production of cheeses, yogurt, and other dairy products.
Advantages of Enzymes:
- Enzymes can be used in low quantity to produce desired effect in metabolic reaction.
- They can operate within narrow set of conditions of temperature and humidity.
- Their use in food products increases the shelf-life of product.
Disadvantages:There are no such disadvantages of using enzymes in food products.