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AMFEP Joint Food Enzymes Dossiers

Over the last three years, Amfep has established a framework for cooperation for food enzymes producers in order to prepare joint dossiers for enzymes extracted from plant and animal tissues and for enzymes produced by fermentation of microorganisms. Where there was enough interest from food enzyme producers (minimum three companies, including Amfep members as well as non-Amfep members), a working group for the submission of a joint dossier was created. Consequently, Amfep has submitted 16 Food Enzymes Dossiers before the deadline of 11 March 2015 for various applications for food enzymes obtained from:

(a) edible parts of plants or animals which have a documented history on the safety of the source of the food enzymes demonstrating no adverse effects on human health; or

(b) micro-organisms having the status of Qualified Presumption of Safety; or

(c) micro-organisms which have been used in the production of food enzymes that have been evaluated and authorised by the competent authorities in either France or Denmark in accordance with the SCF guidelines of 1992.

Throughout the submission period, Amfep has been working in close connection with the EU authorities. During various contacts with the Commission as well as with the Member States, Amfep gained an insight into the type of information and level of detail expected in the dossiers.

In order to ascertain that the individual dossiers contain:

  • All actual uses of a specific food enzyme
  • A correct description of the technological need of the enzyme use
  • A correct description of the food production process
  • A correct description of the fate of the food enzyme during food processing
  • A convincing reasoning why the use of the food enzyme does not lead to misleading of the consumer

Amfep created a dossier template to be followed in all dossiers. Furthermore, for the completion of the Risk Management part, and in order to cover all applications currently on the market, Amfep has worked closely together with a large number of food sectors.

Due to the data requirements and following discussions with the European Commission/ Member States, it is likely that the future Union list will mention a list of uses per food enzyme. After consultation with the European Commission, Amfep decided to harmonize the names of the food processes in which enzymes are used, since enzymes are generally used during the food production process as processing aids rather than added to function in the final food. The list of food processes will help in the practical implementation of the future EU list by avoiding inconsistencies in the way enzyme uses are listed. A non-exhaustive list of such processes is given below:

 

Description of Food Processes for Use in Dossiers

NB: This is not an exhaustive list of food processes. Applications are not limited to the examples given in the description of the processes.

Baking

Baking processes rely on flour as the principal raw material. Non-exhaustively, baking processes lead to the production of foodstuffs such as bread, biscuits, cakes, pastry, tortillas, baking specialties, etc.A number of enzymes are used in baking processes to facilitate the handling of the dough, improve its structure and behavior during the baking process, ensure machinability and improve the quality of the final bakery products, which might otherwise be impaired by the industrial processing of the dough. They are added during the mixing of the dough ingredients and act on the various substrates present in the flour, such as starch and other carbohydrates, fibers, lipids…

Brewing

Brewing processes rely on cereals (malted or not) as the principal raw material.They lead to the production of beer and other cereal-based, alcoholic beverages.In brewing processes, starch and other raw material components are transformed into dextrins and fermentable sugars, followed by yeast fermentation.Enzymes are added e.g. during mashing or fermentation to increase or facilitate the production of fermentable sugars, facilitate the mash filtration, speed up the maturation process and decrease the amount of carbohydrates in final products.

Dairy processing

Milk is the principal substance in dairy processing. Milk contains various components including proteins, lipids and lactose which are natural substrates for a number of different enzymes. Enzymes can be used in dairy processing for various purposes, such as hydrolyzing casein resulting in clotting of the milk, hydrolyzing components into substances which are themselves used as ingredients in a number of food products, hydrolyzing lactose to produce lactose reduced dairy products, etc.

Egg processing

In egg processing enzymes can be used non-exhaustively to de-sugar the egg white thereby reducing unwanted browning (Maillard reaction) and associated off-flavour development during pasteurization and spray drying of eggs. In processing of egg yolks enzymes can be used to hydrolyze the phospholipids in the egg yolk giving better emulsifying properties and increased thermo tolerance allowing higher pasteurization temperature of sauces and dressings containing enzyme modified egg yolk resulting in increased microbial stability of the final food.

Fats and oils processing

Enzymes used in fats and oils processing work on the ester bonds in these compounds and can be utilized in various processes such as in extracting vegetable oils in an aqueous process, in ester synthesis generating e.g. flavoring substances, in degumming (a physical refining process) and in enzymatic interesterification generating oils and fats with controlled melting characteristics without the formation of trans fatty acids. Lower processing temperatures, higher yield and better quality oils and fats are also typical benefits when using enzymes for fats and oils processing.

Flavour Production

Enzymes are used in the production of both flavouring substances and flavouring preparations as defined in Regulation 1334/2008. These are then blended with other flavouring materials, permitted food additives and food Ingredients to create flavourings. A specific flavouring substance or preparation will be used in many different flavouring types eg strawberry, pear, chocolate and cheese which can be added to both sweet and savoury foodstuffs.

a) Flavouring substances

The food enzyme functions as a biocatalyst facilitating the production of a chemically defined flavouring substance. An example would be the use of lipase to catalyse the reaction between an alcohol and an acid to produce an ester. Following the reaction the resulting ester is purified for example by filtration, heating and distillation.

b) Flavouring Preparation

The enzyme is used to convert substrates present in the starting material into other molecules with flavouring properties, the resultant extract being flavouring preparations. An example would be the addition of beta glucosidase to hydrolyses the glucosides present in tea leaves followed by distillation to produce a flavouring preparation.

Fruit and Vegetable processing

This process covers all processes which consist of transforming any fruits and vegetables raw-materials. Non exhaustively, fruit and vegetables can be processed into juices, purees, compotes, jams, jellies and marmalades, canned fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetables preparations, etc. Typically, in Fruit and vegetable processing, enzymes such as cellulases, beta-glucanases, hemicellulases (xylanase) and pectinases are used to improve processing (solid-liquid separation, filtration, depectinisation and concentration, maintenance of texture and appearance,…).

Protein processing including e.g. Meat and Fish Processing

Protein processes rely on proteins (or protein containing raw materials) as the principal raw materials. Proteins or protein containing raw materials can be from different origins:

- Vegetable (derived) raw materials, such as soy, wheat, maize, etc.

- Animal (derived) raw materials, such as milk and milk derived products (whey proteins, caseins), meat, fish, collagen, gelatine, etc.

Enzymes are used in protein processing to facilitate protein hydrolysis. The resulting product can be concentrated by centrifugation sometimes followed by evaporation and drying to provide liquid or powdered protein hydrolysates. Protein hydrolysatescan be used in a wide range of foods (savoury foods -e.g. soups, bouillons, dressings, snacks, meat derived processed foods, etc- or foods supplemented with protein – e.g. foods with particular nutritional purpose incl. infant formulae.

Potable alcohol production

Potable alcohol production processes rely on cereal starch as the principal raw material. They lead to the production of potable alcohol for spirits and other alcoholic beverages. In the process of alcohol production, the starch contained in cereals is extracted and hydrolyzed by enzymes, followed by yeast fermentation. The ethanol is subsequently concentrated and recovered by distillation. The enzymes are added to the liquefied mash either during starch hydrolyses or directly into the fermenter. They facilitate the degradation of cereals into fermentable sugars, improve the yield and allow the use of higher process temperatures and lower pH, which reduces the risk of contamination during the fermentation step.

Grain and starch processing

Cereals, which are highly complex structures, are milled and processed in order to be fractioned into starch, gluten and fibers. Enzyme systems act on the cereal components ensuring smooth and efficient processing facilitating the separation (by opening the grain structure) and ensuring high purity/yield of the separated polysaccharide and gluten fractions. The separated fractions are then further processed. The starch fraction is either used as a food ingredient – e.g. in baking- or transformed enzymatically into ethanol or into glucose, maltose, high fructose and other syrups which are themselves used in a number of food products.

Wine making

Wine making processes rely on grapes as the raw material. They lead to the production of wine. Enzymes can facilitate extraction of sugars, color and aroma, as well as ease the filtration of the mash.

Yeast Processing

Enzymes are used during the processing of yeast to produce products such as yeast autolysates, yeast extracts and yeast cell walls which are used by the food Industry for nutritive and flavouring purposes. The enzymes are already present in the yeast but not in a consistent amount, enzymes are therefore added to ensure a reproducible product. The enzymes are added at different stages in the process depending on the product to be produced. They hydrolyse biopolymers into smaller units such as free amino acids, sugars, nucleotides and manno proteins.