There are four main sources of enzymes in foods—these being the inherent enzymes, enzymes from microbial contaminants, enzymes elaborated by microorganisms added to foods, and specific enzymes added to foods. This study primarily deals with the latter two sources of enzymes in food. Although both plants and animals serve as sources of enzymes, they are not as economical or versatile sources as are enzymes obtained from microorganisms. In the meat industry, proteases are used to tenderize muscle and to obtain flavor precursors. In the preparation of cured meat products such as sausages, lipases, and proteases from bacterial cultures are utilized. Similarly, proteases and lipases are used in the dairy industry to develop flavor compounds. Proteases and amylases also have applications in the baking and milling industries where they are used to produce precursors for the nonenzymatic browning reactions. Carbohydrases such as amylase, amyloglucosidase, and glucose isomerase have found usage in the starch and syrup industry for the production of high dextrose and high fructose syrups. Other enzymes such as glucose oxidase, pectinase, and naringinase are of value to the wine and fruit juice industries. A better understanding of the mode of action of enzymes as well as the mechanisms of development of flavor compounds will further enhance the use of microbial enzymes to develop specific and desired flavors in foods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology