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New Enzymes for the Food Industry

Basidiomycota secret very special enzymes, among them lipases, esterases, peptidases, glycosidases, laccases and peroxidases.

Looking at the natural habitat of Basidiomycota (wood, litter, bark) the diversity of peptidases appears surprising. The food industry is using them for flavour formation, ripening processes and for total hydrolysis on large scale. Peptidases with high cleavage specificity result in bioactive peptides, for example with salt taste enhancing properties.

The search for laundry bleaching enzymes over a decade has led to more than a dozen patent applications. Gentle enzyme catalysed decolouration of certain process streams is also used in food applications.

A chlorogenase improves the digestibility of coffee, and laccases, the fungal counterpart of plant polyphenoloxidases, transform polysaccharide solutions to hard gels and affect the rheology of wheat doughs.

The functional expression of the enzyme coding gene in pro- and eukaryotic hosts (Komagataella, Aspergillus) regularly sets the keystone to such work.