In science, enzymes are being used as bio-catalysts, meaning they accelerate chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy. Enzymes play a significant role in the lives of living organisms as they give aid in metabolic activities such as respiration and digestion, as well as help to maintain homeostasis. Apart from this, enzymes work as substances which break-down particles like protein, starch and fat, into smaller molecules, parts.
Whilst enzymes are essential for the written above, there are numerous of other fields/industries in which they take place. I am going to describe the following:
Fabric and Household
Whenever we are washing clothes, there are some stains (mostly protein based) which adhere to the surface of the cloth, and cannot be washed off with ease. In this case, proteolytic enzymes come to use. These enzymes are put into the detergents and washing liquids, and react with the chemicals of the stain, consequently removing it. During this reaction, the enzymes react on the peptide bonds, loosing them, and dissolving.
There are multiple of enzymes used in the food industry such as: lactose, rennet, catalase, protease, and each one of them differ in their speciality.
- Rennet- contains enzymes that cause milk to become cheese
- Lactose-required for the digestion of whole milk, used in production of lactose free milk
- Catalase- removal of hydrogen peroxide
- Protease- hydrolysis of whey proteins
Within products like fruits and vegetables, the enzymes break down specific components like starch, protein and cellulose, which results in improving sensory characteristics and increasing yields. For ex.: Pectinases and Cellulases are used to break down cell walls in fruits and vegetables, with a consequence of the written above, as well as decreasing the viscosity (thickness, stickiness) of purees and nectars.
The enzymes are also highly used in brewing beverage, with having lots of benefits from using them. Some tasks that they perform include:
- Beer filtration and Stabilization
- Efficient fermentation
- Better extraction yield
- Malt Separation
Apart from that, the usage of enzymes isn’t limited to bakery. Some of them like Protease are responsible for the breakdown of proteins, the Pentosanase breaks down pentosan, alpha – amylase do the breakdown of starch and maltose production, and etc.
In medicine, enzymes are widely used as medical drugs. These pharmaceuticals help people in any severe situations, and treat the disease. Here is a list of what these enzymes can do:
- To treat enzyme related disorders.
- To assist in metabolism
- To assist in drug delivery.
- To diagnose & detect diseases.
- Also during manufacture of medicines.
- Also during manufacture of medicines.
If we move further into the circulatory system, we will notice some benefits they have on blood vessels, arteries, and overall body performance. One thing is that it promotes healing of a swelling, also the enzymes break down internal blood clots, as well as they dissolve the hardening of the walls of blood vessels.
The listed above are a solution to the blood clot forming problems such as spinal injuries and low pressure. And enzymes are the only substances which can break it down and later on fully dissolve it. Streptokinase, Urokinase, are examples of enzymes which perform those actions.
Biotechnology is an area in biology involving living organisms and their application to technology. As time goes on, biotechnology gains more attention and is broadly used in today’s world. Inspired by nature, biotechnologists use enzymes as a part of their working process. One of the enzymes used is Penicillin.
Biotechnology also refers to the food industry, so we can say that all of those enzymes are used in biotechnology too, bit in a more designed/ organized way which will develop the product.
By this it means that the product will be ore enhanced and developed along with the new researches and discoveries that contribute to biotechnology and enzymes.
Nowadays, a lot of producers feed their animals with enzymes, benefiting both of them. Here are some enzymes consumed, and their functions:
This specific enzyme breaks down starch or non-starch poly saccharides into small amounts of sugar which keep the animal on his energy. One example of this enzyme is corn.
Proteases are the most modern types of enzymes to be given to animals. They help the producers to manage nutritional risks and overall safety, quality of the product. One benefit includes an enhanced digestibility of the product and a better animal performance.
The phytase enzymes break down phytates which consist of phosphorus. Phosphorus itself is a salient element of one’s nutrition, maintenance, and performance. Along with enzymes, the animals absorb a significant amount of phosphorus which has a lasting beneficial effect on them.
The benefits of enzymes are becoming better realized as more research is done. For the animal, enzymes optimize gut health, produce uniform growth and enhance overall health. For the producer, they decrease feed costs and improve profitability.