What are enzymes?Enzymes are large proteinmolecules which are madeup of long chains of aminoacids that is folded toproduce a molecule with aspecific 3D shape.Enzymes can be used inour bodies as biologicalcatalysts and in industryalso.
Enzymes in Clothes and Dishwashing DetergentsEnzymes can be used as detergents to remove stains suchas grass, sweat and food from clothes. These biologicalwashing powders contain proteases andlipases. These enzymes break down the proteins andfats in the stains. They help give cleaner washes and theywork better than non-biological detergents at lowertemperatures. This is because the enzymes work best atlower temperatures, they denature if the water is too hot.This means you loose less electricity.(Dishwasher detergents contain enzymes that disgestcooked-on proteins like eggs, which are often hard toremove.)
Advantages and Disadvantages of using EnzymesEnzymes can solve industrial problems like the need for speeding up the many reactions that need high temperatutesand pressures to make them go fast enough to produce the products needed which include the use of expensiveequipment and requires a lot of energy.They catlyse reactions at relatively low temperatures and normal pressures. Enzyme-based processes are thereforeoften fairly cheap to run.One problem with enzymes is that they are denatured at high temperatures, so the temperature must be kept down(usually below 45○C). The pH also needs to be kept within carefully controlled limits that suit the enzyme. It costsmoney to control these conditions.Many enzymes are also expensive to produce. Whole microbes are relatively cheap, but need to be supplied with foodand oxygen and their waste products removed. They use some of the substrate to grow more microbes. Pure enzymesuse the substrate more efficiently, but they are also more expensive to produce.
Enzymes in Baby Food and IndustryPure enzymes have many uses in industry.Proteases are used to make baby foods. They predigestsome of the protein in the food because babies whenthey first start eating solid foods, they are not very goodat digesting it. Treating the food with protease. Enzymesmakes it easier for a babys digestive system to copewith.Carbohydrates are used to convert starch into sugar(glucose) syrup.Starch is made by plants like corn and it is very cheap.Using enzymes to convert this plant starch into sweetsugar provides a cheap source of sweetness for foodmanufactures.It is also important for the process of making fuel(ethanol) from plants.
Enzymes for Slimming AidEnzymes can be used for slimming aidbecause the enzyme isomerase is used tochange glucose syrup into fructose syrup.Glucose amd fructose contain the sameamount of energy (1700kJ or 400kcal per100g). Fructose is much sweeter thanglucose and so smaller amounts areneeded to make food taste sweet. Thefood tastes sweet but contains fewercalories which helps you to lose weight.
Enzymes in Medical DiagnosisIf your liver is damagedor diseased, some ofyour liver enzymes mayleak out into yourbloodstream. If yoursymptoms suggest yourliver isnt working properly,doctors can test yourblood for these enzymes.This will tell them if yourliver is really damaged.
Enzymes used to Control DiseasePeople who have too much glucose in their blood, as aresult, they also get glucose in their urine. Onecommonly used test for sugar in the unrine relies on acolour change on a test strip. The test contains achemical indicator and an enzyme. It is placed in a urinesample. The enzyme breaks down any form of glucosefound in the urine. The strip changes colour if theproducts of this reaction are present. This shows thatglucose was present in the original sample.
Enzymes used to Cure DiseasesIf your pancreas is damaged or diseased it cannot makeenzymes. So, you have to take extra enzymes - particularylipase - to allow you to digest your food. The enzymes arein special capsules to stop them being disgested in yourstomach.If you have a heart attack, an enzyme called streptpkinasewill be injected into your blood as soon as possible. Itdissolves clots in the artries of the heart wall and reducesthe amount of damage done to your heart muscle.An enzyme is being used to treat a type of blood cancer inchildren. The cancer cells cannot make one particularamino acid. They need to take it from your body fluids. Theenzyme speeds up the breakdown of this amino acid. Thecancer cells cannot get any and they die. Your normal cellscan make the amino acid so they are not affected.