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Enzymes used in food industry

Data: 2020-10-15


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Enzymes used in food industry
Enzyme preparations are generally rarely seen on the list of food ingredients, but they are widely used in food production. For example, the production of cheese, vinegar, and fruit juice that we usually eat requires enzyme preparations.

What is an enzyme preparation?

Most enzymes are proteins, and a small part is ribonucleic acid (RNA). Enzyme has a very high efficiency catalytic conversion function.
Enzyme preparation is a biological product obtained by processing enzymes. It is directly extracted from animals and plants, or is produced by fermentation and extraction of microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, etc.), and also has a special catalytic function.
The use of food enzyme preparations in food production can speed up the food production process and help improve the quality of food.

The source, classification and enzymes used in food industry

First, according to the source, food enzyme preparations can be divided into the following three categories:

1. Animal enzyme preparations

Including chymosin, pepsin, trypsin, etc.

It is a curdling agent for cheese products. It was originally extracted from the abomasum of calves and lambs, but this production method can no longer meet the ever-increasing demand for cheese, so the commonly used production method is through bacterial fermentation.

The role of rennet is to combine with the casein in milk to coagulate the milk.

2. Plant enzyme preparations

Including bromelain, papain, ficin, etc.

Pineapple pulp, peel and stems all contain powerful proteases, collectively called bromelain.
Most of the production of bromelain is made by using pineapple peel as raw material.

Bromelain is used as a food additive in the food industry to clarify beer and tenderize old meat.

3. Microbial enzyme preparation

Including glucoamylase, α-amylase, pectinase, lactase, cellulase, etc.


It is an enzyme that decomposes plant pectin, which is generally produced by mold.
In the industrial production process of fruit juice, adding pectinase can make it easier to press the juice and increase the juice yield. Under suitable conditions, pectinase can dissolve the pectin in the juice, reduce the viscosity of the juice, accelerate the precipitation, and make the juice clear and easy to filter.

Lactose is a unique disaccharide in mammalian milk. Lactase can break down lactose into easily absorbed glucose and galactose.

In the production of ice cream, the use of lactase can inhibit the production of lactose crystals and make the ice cream more smooth. It can also increase the sweetness, reduce the amount of sugar used, and reduce the calories of the ice cream.

In the production of bread, lactase decomposes lactose to produce glucose, which helps yeast to ferment and produce gas, which makes the dough puff and swell. At the same time, the galactose produced can also make the color of baked bread more beautiful.

Safety of food enzyme preparations derived from microorganisms

At present, the use of microbial fermentation to produce enzyme preparations has become the main source of industrial enzyme preparations; among them, the use of genetic engineering to improve microorganisms can improve the yield and quality of enzyme preparations.
The content of enzyme preparations added in food is very low, and most enzymes have been denatured and inactivated during food processing.

There is no evidence that enzymes in the food industry are harmful to human health.