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How Enzymes are made?

For thousands of years, mankind has used micro-organisms (bacteria, yeasts and moulds) - and the enzymes they produce - to make bread, cheese, beer and wine. Nowadays, we are able to identify those enzymes that are responsible, for example, for making beer. Enzymes used for industrial applications are produced by controlled and contained fermentation in large closed fermentation tanks, using a well defined production strain. These production strains grow under very specific conditions to maximize the amount of enzyme that they produce.

When fermentation is complete, the production strain cells are inactivated and removed by centrifugation/filtration, separating the produced enzyme from its production strain. The enzyme concentrate is then purified, standardised and stabilised with diluents – delivering liquid or granulated enzyme products, depending on the application it will be used in.

Production of enzymes by fermentation has a number of advantages. It allows ensuring a constant quality of the product and a high production yield. It also helps to obtain enzymes specifically targeted to perform specific tasks under required conditions: like detergent enzymes which are active at very low temperatures.

Current EU regulations ensure that this entire process follows rigourous requirements, to ensure safety and robustness of the sector’s quality system.

Enzymes are produced by microorganisms. These microorganisms can be modified to produce enzymes with much better yield properties and purity. Such GMMs (genetically modified micro-organisms) are however not part of the final enzyme product. After fermentation, the micro-organisms are inactivated and separated from the fermentation broth (containing the enzyme) by a series of separation / filtration steps.

The enzyme itself is not - and cannot be - a GMM because enzymes are substances and not organisms.

Industry uses the best available technologies to address the evolving demands of the industry, which in many cases are better addressed with this technology. For more information about this production technology go to www.europabio.org

Enzyme-producing companies have in place standard operating practices and quality control mechanisms during the manufacturing of their enzyme preparations, and are continuously evaluating ways to increase the effectiveness of their procedures.