ABPI - Resources for Schools

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Summary Jan 2011 - June 2012

Enzymes and their uses

Age range 14-16

The properties of enzymes

All enzymes have some important properties:

  • They are all proteins, which is one reason why we need protein in our diet.
  • They are all biological catalysts.They speed up a reaction without being used up; this means they can be used over and over again.
  • A small amount of enzyme can effect the change of a large amount of chemical.
  • The way enzymes work is affected by temperature, pH and pressure. They can be denatured (destroyed) by excessive heat.
  • The reactions are reversible.
  • Enzymes are specific that is they control only one reaction. So maltase only acts on maltose, sucrase on sucrose etc.

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