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Industrial biotechnology


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Enzymatic processes

Enzymatic processes are a key application in biocatalysis. The use of enzymes has the potential to increase productivity, efficiency and quality output in industrial processing. Enzyme-catalyzed processes generally have requirements for a simple manufacturing base, low capital investment and consume relatively small amounts of energy, when compared to other methods of food processing.

Enzymes are the catalysts of all reactions in living systems. These reactions are catalysed in the active sites of globular proteins. The proteins are composed by amino acids with a variety of side chains ranging from non-polar aliphatic and aromatic to acidic, basic and neutral polar. This fact allows to a globular 3D protein to create in the active site all ranges of microenvironments for catalysis.

Major advances in microbial technology and genetics allow recently the broad range of enzymatic applications in the industry. For example enzymatic processes have been increasingly incorporated in textiles - cotton, wool, flax or starches are natural materials used in textiles that can be processed with enzymes. Enzymes have been used for desizing, scouring, polishing, washing, degumming, peroxide degradation in bleaching baths as well as for decolourisation of dyehouse wastewaters, bleaching of released dyestuff and inhibiting dye transfer. And this is just a small range of enzymatic processes usage.

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