Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 16, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Enzymes are highly efficient biocatalysts specific for a particular chemical reaction involving the synthetic, degradative, or alteration of a compound. Microbial enzymes have largely replaced the traditional plant and animal enzymes used in industry; hydrolytic enzymes are most commonly used in biotechnology. A variety of microbial enzymes are used in baking, brewing and textile industries, animal feed, pulp and paper industry, frui juice, meat and fish processing, detergents, dairy, and leather industries. One example of the successful use of enzymes in biotechnology is the enzymatic conversion of starch into high fructose corn syrups. Lignocellulosic biomass can be converted to fermentable sugars by using cellulases and hemicellulases. Lipases are used in fat hydrolysis, transesterification of fats and oils, production of chiral organic compounds, and flavor ester synthesis. Enzymes or whole cells have been extensively used as catalysts for production of a variety of fine chemical (e.g., indigo, aspartame, acrylamide) and pharmaceutical intermediates (e.g., 6-amino penicillanic acid, 6-hydroxynicotinic acid). Enzymes are also important in various analytical methods including the use of immobilized enzymes as biosensors. The demand to replace some conventional chemical processes with green chemistry is expected to create markets for new enzymes.