Saturday, June 26, 2010


Application of Biotechnology in food processing is largely based on use of many enzymes that can catalyze a variety of reactions beneficial during food processing. If bio-fuel is becoming a reality it is due to the marvelous role played by enzymes like cellulase, amylase, amyloglucosidase and yeast enzymes in converting agricultural materials to alcohol. There are many such enzyme systems mostly derived from microorganisms. Enzymes also played a vital role in creating the low cost cane sugar alternative in High Fructose Corn Syrup, used extensively by the food beverage industry world over. Enzymes also played an important role in the laundry detergent industry by evolving products that can remove tough stains from the cloth. Use of enzymes as analytical aids and in diagnostic tools for some diseases is well established. If we have a quick blood glucose monitoring system that can quantify glucose in a matter of seconds, it is due to the glucose oxidase enzyme produced commercially at economical cost for use by the industry. With the advent of modern biotechnology and bioengineering capabilities, enzymes can be maneuvered to do many tasks more efficiently at faster pace. .

"Enzyme engineering is the recent technology growing rapidly due to its higher application in a lot of fields and due to having bright and clear future vision. A most exciting development over the last few years is the application of genetic engineering techniques to enzyme technology. There are a number of properties which may be improved or altered by genetic engineering including the yield and kinetics of the enzyme, the ease of downstream processing and various safety aspects. Enzymes from dangerous or unapproved microorganisms and from slow-growing or limited plant or animal tissue may be cloned into safe high-production microorganisms. The amount of enzyme produced by a microorganism may be increased by increasing the number of gene copies that code for it For example; The engineered cells, aided by the plasmid amplification at around 50 copies per cell, produce penicillin – G – Amidase constitutively and in considerably higher quantities than does the fully induced parental strain. Such increased yields are economically relevant not just for the increased volumetric productivity but also because of reduced downstream processing costs, the resulting crude enzyme being that much purer. New enzyme structures may be designed and produced in order to improve on existing enzymes or create new activities. Much protein engineering has been directed at Subtilisin (from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens), the principal enzyme in the detergent enzyme preparation, Alcalase. This has been aimed at the improvement of its activity in detergents by stabilizing it at even higher temperatures, pH and oxidant strength. A number of possibilities now exist for the construction of artificial enzymes. These are generally synthetic polymers or oligomers with enzyme-like activities, often called synzymes. Enzymes can be immobilized i.e., an enzyme can be linked to an inert support material without loss of activity which facilitates reuse and recycling of the enzyme.Use of engineered enzyme to form biosensor for the analytical use is also recent activity among the developed countries. Some enzymes make use in diseases diagnosis so they can be genetically engineered to make the task easier. Thus it is obvious that there is huge scope of the enzyme technology in the future as well as in present".

Enzymes are bound to play increasingly important role in the day to day lives of people and their optimal use can be expected to bring down the cost of many products made to day through chemical reactions under extreme conditions. Minimum formation of undesirable artifacts with unknown consequences is another advantage when enzyme mediated reactions are adopted. Enzymes of diverse nature are expected to play a crucial role in future in weeding out thousands of chemical substances with uncertain safety, used by the food industry during processing for various purposes.

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