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Home » Biology Homework Help » Biotechnology » Enzyme Use in Food Industry
Enzyme Use in Food Industry
Food industry utilizes a variety of enzymes for processing of various foods, e.g. production of various types of syrups from starch or sucrose ( and amylases, glucoamylase, pullulanase, invertase, glucose isomerase, meat/protein processing using proteases, removal of glucose and or molecular oxygen (O2) using glucose oxidase and catalase, use of lactase in dairy industry and use of enzymes in fruit juice and brewing industries.

Use of proteases in food processing

Proteases have a number of applications in food industry; some of the important applications are briefly described below.

1. Proteins extracted from soybeans become more valuable and useful after partial hydrolysis. A cleavage of about 30% of the peptide bonds increases its whipping expansion, while cleavage of about 6% of bonds improves its emulsifying capacity. Soyabean protein hydrolysates can be used as additive in cured meats, if their flavour is good.

2. About 5% of meat remains attached to bones and cannot be recovered by mechanical means. The bones are mashed and incubated at 60˚C with neutral or alkaline proteases for upto 4 hr. The meat is digested by the enzymes, and is recovered as a slurry which is used in canned meats and soups.

3. Proteases are used to recover proteins from blood, especially red blood cells (RBCs). RBCs are separated and haemolysed; the haemolysate is incubated with subtilisin till about 18% of the peptide and are removed by centrifugation. The light brown supernatant is further purified by passing through the activated charcoal, is spray-dried, and is used in cured meats, sausages, and luncheon meats.

4. Proteases produce flavours in meat and cause its tenderization. ‘Hanging’ of meat allows native proteases to act and produce flavours and tenderize the meat. But meat from older animals remains tough; it can be tenderized by injecting about 2-5 mg/kg papain in inactive form into the jugular vein of the animal shortly before it is slaughtered. After slaughter free thiols accumulate in the muscle; this activates the papain which, ultimately, tenderizes the meat. However, this procedure destroys the animal heart, liver and kidneys. In addition, papain is relatively heat tolerant so that its activity persists during the cooking process. Therefore, papain treatment is not a procedure of choice any more.

5. Proteases are used in the baking industry to partially digest the gluten of dough obtained from high-gluten wheat varieties. This treatment makes the dough suitable for biscuit making (it now spreads in thin layers, and retains decorative impressions), and for pie pastry making (prevents shrinkage of the pastry away from their aluminium dishes).

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