Enzymes and digestion
The names of the different types of enzymes usually end in the letters -ase. Three of the most common enzymes with their chemical actions are:
Enzymes allow certain industrial processes to be carried out at normal temperatures and pressures, thereby reducing the amount of energy and expensive equipment needed. Enzymes are also used in the home, for example, in 'biological' detergents. The table shows some common enzyme uses you should be familiar with.
|protease||used to pre-digest proteins during the manufacture of baby foods|
|lipase||used - together with protease - in biological detergents to break down - digest - the substances in stains into smaller, water soluble substances|
|carbohydrase||used to convert starch syrup, which is relatively cheap, into sugar syrup, which is more valuable - for example, as an ingredient in sports drinks|
|isomerase||used to convert glucose syrup into fructose syrup - fructose is sweeter than glucose, so it can be used in smaller amounts in slimming foods|