Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 21, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Biocatalysts play important roles in various biotechnology products and processes in food and beverage industry and have already been recognized as valuable catalysts for various organic transformations and production of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. At present, the most commonly used biocatalysts in biotechnology are hydrolytic enzymes which catalyze the breakdown of larger biopolymers into smaller units. Enzymes catalyze reactions in a selective manner, not only regio- but also stereoselectively, and have been used both for asymmetric synthesis and racemic resolutions. The chiral selectivity of enzymes has been employed to prepare enantiomerically pure pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and food additives. Biocatalytic methods have already replaced some conventional chemical processes. Biocatalytic routes, in combination with chemical synthesis, are finding increased use in the synthesis of novel polymeric materials. The present global market for enzymes is estimated to be more than US $1.5 billion. The discovery of new and improved enzymes and their use in various processes and products will create new market opportunities for biocatalysts and solve environmental problems.