Enzymes, defined as macromolecular biological catalysts, are responsible for thousands of metabolic processes and are located in every living cell. Highly selective, they accelerate both the rate and specificity of metabolic reactions, from the digestion of food (breaking down starch, protein, fat or sugar) to the synthesis of DNA without being expended themselves. Most enzymes are proteins, although catalytic RNA molecules have been identified.

Extraction of Enzymes by Homogenization

The rupture of microbial cells is an essential first step in this process and the increasing use of high-pressure homogenization to obtain intracellular enzymes and organelIes is gaining in importance. It enables the extraction of intracellular substances without needing to use solvents or other chemicals to initiate cell wall breakage.

Extraction of Enzymes by Separation

The separators and decanters from GEA ensure that the intracellular and extracellular enzymes are separated undamaged and in high concentrations.

Production of Intracellular Enzymes

Glucose isomerase is an example of an enzyme which converts glucose into fructose and is highly significant in the starch industry. The enzyme is produced and remains in the cells of the employed microorganisms. To process it, the liquid phase of the fermentation broth is separated by centrifuging after fermentation. The concentrated microorganisms are treated further after centrifuging. The cell walls are broken down. Depending on the consistency of the suspension, it is diluted before the cell fragments are separated by continuously operating separators. 

Production of Extracellular Enzymes

Separators and decanters from GEA are ideal for the optimum treatment of washing powder enzymes. Carefully purified and sterilized air is injected into a fermenter equipped with an agitator. The air bubbles are distributed in the nutrient solution, which is composed of carbohydrates, protein, growth agents and nutrients. This is sterilized, heated to an optimum temperature and then inoculated with the purified culture of a non-pathogenic microorganism. The microorganisms nourish themselves by converting the substances and simultaneously produce the enzymes. These are then excreted to the fermentation broth. After fermentation, the microorganisms are separated by adding a flocculent and centrifuging with separators and decanters. Succeeding stages of washing and polishing with centrifuges further increase the yield and the purity of the enzymes.

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