What Are Enzymes and How Are They Used in the Food Processing Industry?
Have you ever wondered how your favorite food is produced and what goes into making them taste good? One answer lies in a fascinating group of proteins called enzymes.
These small proteins help down large molecules into smaller, more manageable portions, improving digestion and metabolism. Besides assisting with many biological processes, enzymes have been used in food production for centuries to create many of our beloved snacks and beverages. Cheese, bread, beer, and chocolate—you name it.
If you are looking for an enzyme (food processing) wholesale supplier in the Philippines, Wills International Sales Corporation is the company you can trust. We offer industry-grade and premium-quality products, so you can rest easy knowing you are only getting the best for your food processing needs. Get in touch with us today for more information.
Importance of Enzymes in Food
Enzymes are natural catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in living organisms, including in food. They break down food components, like fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, into smaller molecules that our bodies can absorb and use for energy.
The three classifications of enzymes are:
- Food Enzymes – These are present in raw foods, which, ingested, initiates digestion. You can also obtain food enzymes from supplements.
- Digestive Enzymes – Different organs produce these along the digestive tract, including the pancreas, liver, stomach, and gallbladder. Digestive enzymes break down food into nutrients for absorption into the bloodstream and waste for disposal.
- Metabolic Enzymes – These accelerate chemical reactions within cells for detoxification and energy production. In fact, every cell, organ, and tissue in our bodies rely on metabolic enzymes, allowing us to see, hear, think, feel, and move.
Simply put, life cannot exist without enzymes. Given their importance in a proper diet, using enzymes in the food industry is more critical than ever. Besides improving flavor and texture, these proteins ensure our food has nutritional value.
How Are Enzymes Used in Food Industry?
Enzymes have extensive applications in food production, from creating new flavors and extending shelf life. Here is a closer look at how they are incorporated into various ingredients, meats, beverages, and more:
Enzymes are one of the key ingredients in baked goods. One of the most common enzymes used in baking is amylase. It is added to the flour to disintegrate starch into simple sugars, improving the texture and taste of the final product. Meanwhile, other enzymes, such as protease and lipase, modify gluten and improve the dough’s elasticity.
Ever wondered how meat gets so tender and flavorful? That is the work of enzymes. They break down proteins, softening the muscle fibers and improving their texture. Enzymes can also reduce the fat content in meat products, making them healthier and more appealing to consumers.
Enzymes produced by fungi or bacteria carry out fermentation to produce dairy products. They coagulate milk, form cheese, and break down lactose to make it more easily digestible, especially for lactose-intolerant people.
Our go-to drinks, from coffee and juice to beer and wine, are not complete without enzymes. In brewing, these proteins disintegrate starch in grains to produce fermentable sugars, which are then converted to alcohol over the years. Enzymes are also used in winemaking by enhancing the extraction of color and flavor from grapes. In fruit juices, they break down the cell walls of fruits, releasing fluid.
Types of Enzymes in the Food Processing Industry
You can find a wide range of enzymes for food processing in the market, and it all boils down to where and how you will use them for your product. At Wills International, we will help you find the right one for your needs. Here is a list of the most common enzymes used for food production.
While amylase is used in producing starch syrups, fruit juices, and digestive aids, it is more prevalent in the baking industry. This enzyme helps dough ferment faster, saving you time. Furthermore, it can make bread fluffier, taste better, and last longer.
This particular enzyme is usually added to flour to stay fresh longer and hold its shape when baked. It also makes the dough stronger, more elastic, and more resistant to tearing or breaking. Additionally, when you use glucose oxidase to make bread or noodles, they come out bigger, tastier, and have a better texture.
Lactase has several applications in dairy products. For one, this enzyme reduces the amount of lactose in milk, making it easier to digest. When you add it to milk powder, it can create a rich caramel flavor.
Moreover, lactase speeds up the fermentation process for cheese, yogurt, and other cultured milk products, improving their taste and prolonging their shelf life. Besides that, it makes ice cream sweeter and keeps it from crystallizing.
Papain is an enzyme in unripe papaya fruit’s white fluid or latex. It is commonly used as a meat tenderizer that can improve the flavor and texture of beef, pork, chicken, and even jerky. This enzyme can also hydrolyze meat or fish, which helps create gelatin, savory flavors, and soup bases.
Tips for Buying Enzymes for Food Processing
Buying enzymes for food production can be daunting with so many different types. But fret not—Wills International, your premier enzyme (food processing) wholesale supplier in the Philippines, is here to help you find the perfect one for your needs. Here are handy tips you may consider:
- Understand the Types of Enzymes – Enzymes come in different forms, each with unique properties and functions. That said, it pays to research and understand what type you need and what it does in the food processing industry. This way, you can avoid wasting money on the wrong products.
- Check the Source – Enzymes can be derived from several sources, including plants, animals, and microorganisms. These proteins can also be produced through genetic engineering. Consider the enzyme source when purchasing; some may be more sustainable, cost-effective, or ethical than others.
- Partner With a Reputable Supplier – Look for a trusted distributor with a proven record of providing high-quality products and first-rate customer service. Ask if they can share the necessary documentation proving their enzymes’ purity.
FAQs About Enzymes in the Food Industry
What Enzymes Are Good for Digestion?
Three main groups of enzymes control how your body breaks down nutrients and improve digestion. These proteins naturally occur in your body, but you can also get them as over-the-counter food supplements. These include:
- Amylase – It breaks down carbohydrates and starches into sugars. The pancreas and salivary glands produce this enzyme.
- Protease – Made in the pancreas, it converts proteins into amino acids.
- Lipase – It dissolves fats into glycerol and fatty acids. This enzyme is synthesized in the pancreas and stomach.
While these enzymes usually come from animal sources, plant-based and microbe-based enzymes are also available in supplement form.
What Are Food Enzymes Good For?
The significance of enzymes in food processing cannot be understated. After all, these proteins make a huge difference in the taste, quality, and shelf life of food products. Besides that, they can do wonders for our health.
For instance, people with lactose intolerance may experience bloating and irritable bowel syndrome when consuming dairy products containing lactose, a type of sugar. Enzymes, particularly lactase, can help alleviate these side effects by breaking down lactose into smaller sugars.
In addition, food enzymes help infants who can’t be breastfed digest formula. Some infants may have difficulty taking in the formula due to the complex protein and carbohydrate structures, but this will not be a problem with partially hydrolyzed milk proteins.
Ultimately, enzymes help us get the most out of our food. It fuels us with the nutrition and energy needed to stay healthy and avoid illnesses.
Do Enzymes Make Food Taste Better?
Yes. Since enzymes break down fats and proteins in food, they release flavor compounds and improve its texture. However, the extent to which enzymes improve the food’s taste depends on various factors, such as the type and amount of the enzyme and the food’s specific characteristics. As your go-to enzyme (food processing) wholesale supplier in the Philippines, Wills International will recommend the right one for your particular applications if you are unsure of your options.
To summarize, the beloved treats, meals, and beverages we know today are nothing without enzymes. These naturally occurring proteins have allowed us to create more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable means of food production. More importantly, enzymes work hard behind the scenes by helping us break down and absorb nutrients.
You can count on Wills International for top-grade enzymes for food processing that can take your products to the next level. We are always ready to provide personalized guidance on choosing the best enzymes for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about your options!