Enzymes Everywhere by J. G. Shewale

By J. G. Shewale

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Later on (19th century), the use of stomachs of young animals such as calves and lambs replaced the use of goat stomachs. The reason behind this usage was the natural presence of the enzyme rennin which coagulates milk. Freshly slaughtered animals were used so that the rennin present in the stomach could be used to coagulate the milk before degradative chances that set in after death deactivated the enzyme. Of course, the ancients did not know how rennin worked or even what it was. For them it was a tradition that had to be followed.

Compound with versatile uses. Starch a polymer of glucose, is a storage polysaccharide in nature. Starch as such has limited applications unless hydrolysed to glucose. The glucose syrup so obtained can be used in various products such as soft drinks, confectionary, ice-creams, baked products, meats, sauces, canned fruits, baby food, and alcohol. Different grades of syrups suitable for use by different industries are generated by using different enzymes. It is easy to degrade starch. In the good old days starch was hydrolysed using acids at elevated temperatures of 140° to 150°C.

Tannins may be removed by treating the beer with polyvinylpyrolidone. However, the process is tedious and also expensive. 36 ENZTh1ES EVERYWHERE Normally beer contains a small quantity of dextrins which are soluble polysaccharides produced as a result of hydrolysis of starch. Dextrins increase the caloric value of beer, a fact that deters diabetics. The use of enzymes such as amyloglucosidase, pullulanase and amylase removes the dextrins'and so these enzymes are used to prepare low caloric beer for th~ diet conscious.

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