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Microbial enzymes applications in food processing



*Corresponding author

Laboratorio de Bioremediación, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Carretera Torreón-Matamoros km 7.5, Torreón Coahuila, México


Microbial enzymes play a significant role in different food processes due to their easiness in production and availability. They are mainly used by the food industry to optimize the process, improve the efficiency, quality, shelf life and most importantly to achieve desired organoleptic characteristics of the final product. While, lactase, lipase, protease, transglutaminase, asparaginase, pectinase are employed widely by for removing lactose, cheese ripening, meat tenderization, minimising acrylamide formation and clarification respectively, othear enzymes such as phytase, laccase, complex of xylanase and cellulase are gaining importance in various food process technologies to improve bioavailability of minerals, minimize off-odours and stabilization of beverages and production of nutraceuticals respectively. In this paper, source of these different microbial enzymes, their function and role in different food processes are discussed.


Enzymes are employed by different industries, such as food, detergents, textiles, leather, pulp and paper, diagnostics and therapy (1). Enzymes aid in catalysing and accelerating reactions (2, 3), can be obtained from different sources, viz., animals, plants and microorganisms (4), aren’t toxic and can be inactivated once the desired reaction has been completed. Enzyme inactivation prevents unfavourable changes (appearance and organoleptic properties) in final product as continuous enzyme activity is prevented (2, 3, 5, 6). In the case of food industry, enzymes are used to improve characteristics in the final product such as texture, shelf life, colour, flavour, odour and more (7). Currently, enzymes are also being used for monitoring the food process, increasing the bioavailability of minerals, and as therapeutic agents (1, 2). In general, enzymes are used for three purposes: additive, ingredient and to favour the process (5, 8, 9) related to dairy products, meat, baking, fermented beverages and juice (8, 10). Food processing industry uses around 29% of total enzymes produced, and 58% of these enzymes are obtained from fungi, 28 ...