Enzymes are biological catalytic agents, which facilitate chemical processing or speed up these processes. Traditional processing, such as heat and pressure are heavy on energy, need more time and often result in random hydrolysis to unspecified products. Enzymes develop their effectiveness in aqueous solutions, without adding chemical dispersants and at moderate temperatures. They act in a defined way on certain groups of complex molecules, which they break or hydrolyse to precise simpler components.
As industrial Enzymes are in the main operational in water phase, their optimum efficiency is dependant on two factors, temperature an pH range. These characteristics usually dictate the type and variety of Enzyme used in conjunction with process conditions.
How they work
Field of application and trends
The wide range of market sector applications show that enzymes are an ideal tool for the assistance in industrial processing.
About 10.000 different types of enzymes can be found in nature. Approx. 120 of these are used in industry. Today, 60 % of technical enzymes are produced with the help of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).
Today, the enzyme world market covers several billion euros and is still growing.
Enzymes are mainly used in food and beverage production (e.g. starch industry, milk processing, alcoholic drinks, juice production, bread, cake and pastry production), detergents, cleaning agents, textile, leather, paper and animal feed processing, fine chemical production, in medicine: diagnostic and therapeutical procedures.
Important technical developments include the use of enzymes in analytical and diagnostic applications. This sector covers ecological, food technical, hygiene and medical biosensor techniques.
A further essential field for the use of enzymes is the regenerative raw materials, as enzymes can break the material structure, thus enabling subsequent processing to bioethanol or biogas.
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