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What are enzymes? Print E-mail

Enzyme = ferment. Enzymes are substances which reproduce themselves naturally and steer biochemical reactions.


Generally speaking, each individual enzyme triggers a specific defined reaction (acts as a catalyst) or a particular group of closely related reactions. If a specific enzyme is absent, it is unlikely that the required chemical reaction will take place. Most enzymes are named according to their original substance (substratum) before the speeded up chemical reaction takes place (for example: starch = amylum), followed by the suffix, -ase' (starch dissociative enzyme = amylase).  

Enzymes are present in all living organisms. Our own body's enyzmes play an important role and are, among other things, responsible for the digestion of foodstuffs.

Industrially created enzymes are used in the manufacturing industry as highly active additives*. 


Since the 1960's enzymes are extracted from fungus and bacteria.

Since the 1980's, a large number of enzymes containing genetically modified microorganisms are produced and applied in industries manufacturing cleaning materials, foodstuffs (cheeses, dairy produce, baked goods, starch-based products and beverages), as additives in animal feed, as well as in the textile, leather, paper and cosmetics industries.  

*The law currently allows the non-dectaration of enzymes used in foodstuffs as these are defined as "biologically degradable" rather than as "additives which are subject to declaration".