Industrial enzymology is a branch of biotechnology that uses enzymes to upgrade and finish natural raw materials, and as an alternative to traditional chemical processes. Enzymes have been used since ancient times, such as in Greece for cheese production and fermentation processes for brewing, baking, and alcohol. Submerged fermentation techniques, which were developed in the 1950s, allowed for significant progress in industrial enzymology. Enzymes were first used in the starch industry before moving on to other industries. Enzymes have become the second largest enzyme-consuming industry due to their efficiency, specificity, ability to work under mild conditions, high purification and standardization, and ease of control.
World consumption of industrial enzymes in food processing
Worldwide consumption of industrial enzymes for the food industry amounted to approximately US$300 X 106 in 1990, the main industries being starch and dairy. Brewing, wine and juice and baking together used less than the dairy industry even though significant potential exists for increasing usages of industrial enzymes in these industries. The total growth (including non-food applications) in volume of the enzyme business from 1974-1986 was 10-15% per year although no major new applications emerged in this period. From 1980-1990 the growth can be estimated as 5-10% per year. Lately new non-food applications have been developed within the textile business. The major worldwide sales value of enzyme product types used by the food industry can be seen in Table.
|Consumption (106 US$)
|Rennet (animal and microbial)
|Other food prot eases
|Other (fi-glucanase, cellulase, dextranase, glucose
oxidase, hemicellulase, lactase, lipase, pullulanase)