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Original Content

Uses of Enzymes

In your cells right now, an enzyme is making a copy of your DNA in less than 2 hours, right in the nucleus! - Hugh Martin

Uses of Enzymes

Uses of Enzymes in Seed Germination

Seeds grow into plants by germinating. This involves enzymes breaking the materials stored in the seed down to be used in growth, energy and building cells. The seed contains stored substances such as:

Starch

Amylase enzyme breaks the starch into maltose. It is further broken down by maltase enzyme into glucose which is used in respiration.

Starch→Maltose→Glucose

Proteins

They are broken down into amino acids by protease enzyme and amino acids are further used in building up cells and growth.

Protein→amino acids

Fats

These are broken down into fatty acids by lipase enzyme and are used in making cell membrane.

Fats→fatty acids

In order for a seed to germinate, the conditions required are mentioned below.

  1. Water: to activate the enzymes.
  2. Oxygen: to be used for respiration.
  3. Temperature: provide a warm temperature for enzymes to work best.

Uses of Enzyme in Biological Washing Powder (Protease)

Washing powders contain detergents that remove stains from clothes by dissolving them in water. However, some stains are made up of insoluble substance, these cannot be removed by normal washing powders, instead, biological washing powder is used.

Enzymes are present in biological washing powder that breaks down the insoluble stain into small soluble substances, which are then dissolved in water. For example, if there is a stain of egg yolk or blood on your shirt, so no worries as an enzyme called “protease” will break down the insoluble protein into amino acids and make your shirt stainless! These are then dissolved in water and sucked away. Thus, the shirt becomes clean and stainless.

If you provide the best optimum temperature for enzymes, the stain will be removed quickly. Like presoaking give time to the enzyme to digest by adding a suitable amount of powder.

Uses of Enzymes in Food Industries

Different foods are manufactured using enzymes as listed below:

Baking

In baking, both yeast and sugar are used. Enzymes are present in yeast cells that ferment sugar by anaerobic respiration. It produces carbon dioxide bubbles which cause the dough to rise.

Brewing

It is the process of making wine or beer. In this process, fermentation is involved producing alcohol and carbon dioxide that gives wine and beer its sparkle.

Cheese Making

In making cheese, an enzyme called rennin helps by clotting milk.

Juices

In fruits, such as apples and oranges, there is a substance called pectin; holds the cells together making it hard to squeeze them. An enzyme called pectinase digests pectin making it much easier to squeeze to make the juice more clear than cloudy.

Baby Foods

It is hard for new-born babies to digest high protein foods. That is why foods like this are treated with protease to break down protein into amino acids. This makes it easier for the new-born to digest and assimilate.

Protein→amino acids

Sugar Making

Sugar producing companies get sugar from starch using amylase enzyme as it digests starch into maltose. For dieters, a sugar called fructose is very useful because it provides a sweeter taste than other sugars with a less quantity. Additionally, fructose can be obtained by using the isomerase enzyme to convert glucose into fructose.

Starch→maltose→fructose

Meat

Protease decreases the toughness of the meat and makes it acceptable for consumers by treating its cuts.

Leather

Hairs are removed from animal skin by digesting them using protease enzymes in leather industries.

Image source: grandviewresearch.com

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