benefits_paper - ENZYMES A PRIMER ON USE AND BENEFITS TODAY...

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ENZYMES A PRIMER ON USE AND BENEFITS TODAY AND TOMORROW Enzyme Technical Association 1800 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Second Floor Washington, DC 20036
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Reprints permitted i INTRODUCTION Enzymes have played an important role in many aspects of life since the dawn of time. In fact they are vitally important to the existence of life itself. Civilizations have used enzymes for thousands of years without understanding what they were or how they work. Over the past several generations, science has unlocked the mystery of enzymes and has applied this knowledge to make better use of these amazing substances in an ever-growing number of applications. Enzymes play crucial roles in producing the food we eat, the clothes we wear, even in producing fuel for our automobiles. Enzymes are also important in reducing both energy consumption and environmental pollution. The Enzyme Technical Association believes the importance of enzymes in everyday life is one of today's best-kept secrets. To help change this, we have assembled three documents that explain, in lay terms, what enzymes do, where they are used in products we encounter every day, and how modern biotechnology is opening doors that will further expand the use of enzymes into exciting new areas. To find out more read on. Editor
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THE ENZYME ADVANTAGE
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Enzyme Technical Association June 2001 Reprints permitted 2 WHAT ARE ENZYMES AND WHAT DO THEY DO? Enzymes are proteins with highly specialized catalytic functions, produced by all living organisms. Enzymes are responsible for many essential biochemical reactions in microorganisms, plants, animals, and human beings. Enzymes are essential for all metabolic processes, but are not alive. Although like all other proteins, enzymes are composed of amino acids, they differ in function in that they have the unique ability to facilitate biochemical reactions without undergoing change themselves. This catalytic capability is what makes enzymes unique. Enzymes are natural protein molecules that act as highly efficient catalysts in biochemical reactions, that is, they help a chemical reaction take place quickly and efficiently. Enzymes not only work efficiently and rapidly, they are also biodegradable. Enzymes are highly efficient in increasing the reaction rate of biochemical processes that otherwise proceed very slowly, or in some cases, not at all. WHAT TYPES OF ENZYMES ARE THERE? Enzymes are categorized according to the compounds they act upon. Some of the most common include; proteases which break down proteins, cellulases which break down cellulose, lipases which split fats (lipids) into glycerol and fatty acids, and amylases which break down starch into simple sugars. HOW ARE ENZYMES USED? Enzymes play a diversified role in many aspects of everyday life including
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benefits_paper - ENZYMES A PRIMER ON USE AND BENEFITS TODAY...

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