Enzymes are proteins present throughout nature. The use of enzymes dates back more than five thousand years when people used enzymes called “rennet” to turn milk into cheese. This is one example of how enzymes function as catalysts, that is, they can accelerate biological reactions.
The clients served by Novozymes, the company responsible for this blog, use the enzymatic alternatives to replace chemicals and improve the efficiency of various industrial processes. Enzymes can be used in the manufacture of products such as breads, biofuels, beer, yogurt, leather, fabrics and laundry soap.
Enzymatic activity is influenced mainly by temperature, pH and time. Let’s look at each one separately.
Factors Affecting Enzyme Activity
Temperature: Following the behavior of chemical reactions, the rate of enzymatic activity increases as the temperature increases. However, the reaction rate increases to a maximum, after a certain temperature the speed declines rapidly, even increasing the temperature. This is because the three-dimensional structure of the enzymes breaks down, making it impossible to form the enzyme-substrate complex. It can be said that the rate of reaction increases or decreases by a factor of 2 to each variation of 10 degrees centigrade in the range of 10 ° to 70 °.
In the case of bread, this factor is important because, as soon as the bread enters the oven, the temperature inside it is less than outside. Thus the enzymes act on the sugar very quickly in the first half of the roasting time. After that, they are destroyed.
pH: As in the case of temperature, there is a value for optimal activity which, after it occurs a rapid decrease.
Time: Enzymatic activity is directly influenced by the action of time. The longer the enzyme is in contact with the substrate, the more products will be produced, as long as there is a substrate.