Food Enzymes: The Element That Plays One Of The Most Crucial Roles In Food Processing

 Using enzymes or microbes in food preparation is a time-honored tradition. Novel enzymes with a wide range of uses and specificity have been discovered as technology has advanced, and new application areas are continually being researched. Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeast as well as their enzymes, are commonly utilised in a variety of food preparations to improve taste and texture, and they provide significant economic benefits to businesses. 

Enzymes are a form of catalytically active protein. It has a better catalytic efficiency than inorganic catalysts. Aside from the general characteristics of a chemical catalyst, enzymes have many other characteristics that are worth noting: high catalytic productivity, high specificity, and a moderate working environment. Another invention that combines enzymology theory and chemical technology is enzyme engineering. It has the potential to eliminate the inherent flaws in a wide range of chemical processes in a variety of businesses, as well as serve as a driving force for the advancement of the traditional chemical sector. Previously, the majority of enzymes used in food preparation came from animal carrion and plant extricates. Microbial fermentation provides a major portion of the enzymes now in use. The purity of enzymes employed in food processing should not be overly high, with the majority of enzymes being somewhat purified. Only when proteolytic enzymes are used in low-calorie beer, the higher the purity, the more effective it is. Protease, esterase, lipase, oxidoreductase, and isomerase enzymes are the most often used enzymes in the food processing business.

Enzymes are most often used in flour processing, meat processing, dairy processing and processing of fruits and vegetables. Plant based eating trends has also become a significant driver for the food enzymes market as plant based foods and beverages often require the help of potent enzymes to make them more palatable. According to Reports and Data, the global food enzymes market size was USD 2.75 billion in 2019. As the food processing market continues to expand, use of food enzymes will also be in high demand, resulting in the food enzymes market size reaching USD 3.91 billion by 2027.

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1. Flour Processing:

Enzymes are pristine natural biological goods and green food additives derived from organisms and can also be produced using contemporary biotechnology. Enzymes play a significant part in the manufacture and transformation of a variety of remarkable flours. It can improve the baking quality, texture, nutritional quality, stockpile resistance, and other aspects of flour items.

In the flour industry, enzymes such as hemicellulase, phytase, and glutamine aminotransferase are used to improve the quality of wheat flour. To ensure the reasonable use of enzymes and the correct amount of enzymes, the functional application should be based on the characteristics of distinct unique flour and enzymes. Furthermore, the regular use of a group of enzymes (complex enzyme) can reduce the total amount of the enzyme while also creating a synergistic effect.

2. Dairy Products Processing:

Catalase and lactase are the two most important enzymes used in dairy processing. Lactase can reduce the amount of lactose in milk to produce low lactose milk; low lactose hydrolyzed milk can increase the taste, pleasantness, and health benefits of milk. Low lactose milk is ideal for people with lactose intolerance. Lactase can speed up the reaction and increase the efficacy of fermentation in fermented milk, giving it a unique frankincense flavour and extending its shelf life. Lactase, which is used in condensed milk, not only allows lactose to avoid crystallisation during concentration, it also makes the product tasty, reduces the amount of sucrose, and so inhibits bacteria. Lactase in frozen yoghurt not only improves the pleasantness by lowering the sugar content, but it also helps to dissolve sediment caused by deep-frozen lactose crystallisation, lower the freezing point, and increase the counter-defrosting property. Lactase in milk powder can improve the properties of milk powder.

Infants Formula with Food Enzymes:

The World Health Organization recommends that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their lives in order to offer them the best opportunity of achieving optimal growth, development, and health. However infant formula is required in circumstances where this is not practicable or possible. Some babies struggle to digest particular types of formula, but enzymes can help in a variety of ways.

Comfort infant formulae contain partially hydrolyzed milk proteins and are touted as "easy to digest" cow's milk newborn formula. Natural enzymes called proteases, which target proteins and are obtained from animal, plant, or microbial sources, can be used to make these formulae. Milk proteins are hydrolyzed by proteases, resulting in smaller peptides that are said to be easier to digest than whole proteins. Comfort protein, in particular, is credited by parents of infants suffering from illnesses such as colic 

3. Meat Products Processing:

In the meat industry, enzymes are primarily employed to improve product quality (shading, odour, taste, and so on.) and increase the value of by-products. Meat products injected with papain Ca ++ intensifier have a ruddy earthy colour, a fresh taste, and a superb flavour, completely overcoming typical flaws such as intense flavour, softness, greyish colour, and low yield. Transglutaminase can catalyse the formation of lysine covalent connections between protein atoms or within particles, resulting in robust protein gels that give meat items their hardness and flexibility. The bulk of the proteins in hydrolyzate are converted to amino acids, making meats pleasant, lighter in colour, and easy to digest. These catalysts can be used to make seafood seasonings, health drinks, and other products.

4. Plant Proteins Processing:

Because of their tremendous potential in nutritional applications, there has been a surge in demand for inexpensive plant-derived protein hydrolysates as the demand for plant-based proteins has grown. Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) is made by enzymatic hydrolysis of a plant protein source, such as soy, wheat, rice, sunflower, potato, or other pulse proteins, and is utilised in a variety of foods, including protein-fortified snacks and beverages. Protease enzymes are most typically used in the manufacture of HPPs and are used to maximise protein yields from various plant sources as well as to improve flavour and sensory qualities under regulated settings.

Plant proteins have distinct taste characteristics, and today's HPP products are associated with bitter, unpleasant flavours, which are typically attributed to the HPP mixture's high concentration of hydrophobic free amino acids, short peptides, and volatile chemicals. Enzymatic hydrolysis, both pre- and post-hydrolysis, can help to reduce HPPs' unfavourable sensory qualities dramatically.

5. Fruit and Vegetable Processing:

Gelatin, cellulase, and amylase are the most commonly employed enzymes in fruits and vegetables processing industries, and they are used alone or in combination. These enzymes are primarily used in fruit peeling, fruit juice clarification, fruit juice thickness reduction, fruit juice speed enhancement, and fruit juice stability enhancement. They are also used in making vegetable juice, extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, reducing nutrient loss, and so on. In addition, enzymes are commonly used in tea deep processing. Tannase can improve tea quality by enhancing cold dissolving, preventing clouding, and improving tea quality. It is currently used in black tea, green tea, and oolong tea.

6. Increasing the Quality of Plant-Based Beverages:

The nutritional beverage market is expanding, and cereal-based beverages like Horlicks, Bournvita, and others have long been popular in specific markets. With milk alternatives like soy or oat milk, the plant-based beverage sector has continued to grow.

Enzymes are frequently utilised to help make these beverages more consumer-friendly. Plant-based beverages, such as oat or rice milk, may have low emulsion stability, which means that products may separate over time rather than keeping a uniform mixture. Amylase and other enzymes can aid in product stability. Because the products of starch hydrolysis are sweeter than the starch itself, amylase, like lactase, can reduce the need for additional sugar.

Research Author: Paroma Bhattacharya

Paroma Bhattacharya has dabbled in the realm of content production for over half a decade and possesses extensive experience in penning down pieces related to healthcare, technology, banking, and a wide range of other industry verticals. Her articles focus primarily on balancing relevant data while never neglecting to make the material engaging. She believes in providing objective facts to help people make important business decisions.


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