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Enzymes can be taken out of organisms, purified and then used in science and industry.
One common use in the home is in biological washing powders. These contain amylase, lipases and proteases and break down any stains that contain carbohydrate, fat and protein. They therefore digest “biological” stains from the clothes. Since enzymes work at a low temperature this saves electricity and makes them good for delicate fabrics.
Some people, however, are allergic to the enzymes and suffer skin problems.
Many enzymes are used in the preparation of many different foods. For example, amylases which are present in yeast are used in brewing and baking to convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Proteases are used in tenderising meat. Rennin is essential to create cheese.
Invertase is used to make some soft centred sweets such as thin chocolate covered mints. A thick, almost solid, paste of sucrose and a little water containing invertase is covered in chocolate and left at room temperature for a few days. The sucrose is converted into a mixture of glucose and fructose which creates a soft centre to the chocolate.
Enzymes are used in many industrial processes. Here are some examples of enzymes and their uses.