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Home » Biology Homework Help » Biotechnology » Enzymes Production
Enzymes Production
Enzymes are obtained from animal tissues, plants, bacteria and fungi, including yeast. The bulk of enzymes, both in terms of quantity and variety, are derived from micro-organism, higher plants being the distant second and animals being the least important. The only animal enzyme to be produced in quantities greater than 2 ton/year is rennet or chymosin obtained from calf stomach. The bulk of plant enzymes are hydrolytic enzymes, e.g. , papain etc. Most of the enzymes are used by food industry. Therefore, initially, plant and animal enzymes were preferred over microbial enzymes mainly for considerations of safety and the fear of contamination by micro-organisms, toxins etc.

But increased demands, shortages in supplies of enzymes from plant and animal sources, and difficulties in maintaining a continued supply of these enzymes prompted a much closer and more pragmatic evaluation of the microbial enzymes. These enzymes have found increasing applications even in such areas where enzymes of animal origin were once exclusively used, e.g. cheese production. The rennet (= aspartic proteinase) produced by Mucor miehei is now widely used for cheese production, while rennet from calf stomach was exclusively used in earlier days (about 2 decades ago). Microbes as a source of enzymes have the advantage of large scale production by fermentation, ease in isolation of especially those enzymes which are excreted into the medium, e.g. most hydrolases, the variety of enzymes produced and the ease in genetic manipulation to enhance enzyme yields and even to modify the enzyme using, if desired, recombinant DNA technology.

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