Enzymes for Starch Modification

Enzymes can be used to create different products for the food industry. The process has three main steps: liquefaction, saccharification, and isomerization. This can produce various syrups and modified starches with different properties. These products are commonly used in a wide range of foods like soft drinks, confectionery, meat products, baked goods, ice cream, sauces, baby food, canned fruit, and preserves. The further the process goes, the sweeter the syrup that can be produced.

Tailor-made glucose syrups

Glucose syrups are made by breaking down starch from sources like tapioca, wheat, maize, and potato. The process used affects the final product’s properties, like its sweetness and composition. Enzymes are commonly used instead of acids to produce glucose syrups, which allows for the creation of specific carbohydrate mixtures tailored to different applications. The process involves cooking starch with an enzyme called endo-α-amylase to break down the starch into maltodextrins. These can be used as functional ingredients in various foods. Further hydrolysis using amyloglucosidase leads to sweet-tasting, fermentable sugars. These modified starch products are also used in the production of non-food items like alcohol, enzymes, lysine, and penicillin.

Regulatory considerations

Authorities have created regulations for using enzymes in the food industry. International organizations like JECFA and FCC have provided guidelines for their use, and national groups like AMFEP and ETA work for harmonizing regulations. Enzyme producers ensure their microbial sources are safe and non-toxic. Most food enzymes are used as processing aids and don’t need to be declared on labels since they don’t impact the final food, but some enzymes used as both processing aids and food additives must be declared on labels with appropriate names.

Quality assurance of industrial enzymes

AMFEP has set guidelines for the manufacturing of microbial food enzymes, including ensuring a pure culture of the production organism and following product specifications to avoid contaminants like heavy metals and harmful bacteria. Enzyme products are typically made in aqueous solutions or non-dusty dry forms, and their formulation should be tailored to the intended use to ensure storage stability and other quality parameters.

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