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How Enzymes Work in the Home and in Industry Essay Essay

This essay aims to explore the ways on how enzymes are used in home and in industry, and it aims to explain the advantages and disadvantages of using enzymes in the home and industry. An enzyme is a protein that is formed by the body that acts as a catalyst to cause a certain desired reaction. Enzymes are very specific. Each enzyme is designed to initiate a specific response with a specific result.

Firstly, the AQA Science Biology textbook published in 2011 by Nelson Thornes Ltd suggests on page 172 that “in the past, people boiled and scrubbed their clothes to get them clean – by hand! Now we have washing machines and enzymes ready and waiting to digest the stains.” This is telling us how people now use enzymes at home and it is much easier from the past. This is an example of how enzymes are used in homes. Enzymes are used to get rid of the stains that are on the clothes in washing machines.

Enzymes are used to break down proteins and fats that are in the stains. This is evident in the same textbook on the same page number mentioned above when it says, “many people use biological detergents to remove stains such as grass, sweat and food from their clothes. Biological washing powders contain proteases and lipases.” Proteases and lipases are those enzymes that are used to break down the proteins and fats that are in the stains. In addition, it is better to use biological detergents instead of non-biological detergents at lower temperatures because that is when the enzymes work at their best, if the water is too hot then they are denatured and this also means that you use less electricity.

The edited book version called ‘Enzymes in Industry’ written by Dr Wolfgang Aehle published in 2007 suggests that “in the food industry enzymes are used to improve dairy products like cheese or to supply us with breads that have the right crumb structure and give us the right mouth feel while eating.” This is showing how and why enzymes are used in industry. They are used to improve dairy products or to supply with breads that are good enough for us.

Protease enzymes are used to make baby foods. In the book ‘Chemistry at a glance’ published by Roger Owen and Sue King it says on page 116 “proteins in baby foods may be pre-digested by proteases (enzymes which digest proteins). Babies are not very good at digesting the food when they first begin to eat solid foods. By using protease enzymes in the food, makes it easier for a baby’s digestive system to cope with it and then the babies can also get the amino acids that need from their food more easily. There are more enzymes used in industry like carbohydrases to convert starch into sugar (glucose syrup).

There are many advantages and disadvantages of using enzymes. Enzymes can be good to use. In the AQA Science Biology textbook published in 2011 by Nelson Thornes Ltd suggests on page 173 that “in industrial processes, many o the reactions need high temperatures and pressures to make them go fast enough to produce the products needed. This needs expensive equipment and requires a lot of energy.” The good thing is that by using enzymes it would solve industrial problems like these. On the same page, it says the enzymes “catalyze at relatively low temperatures and normal pressures. This is why the enzyme-based processes are cheap to run. This is an advantage showing that by using enzymes it is cheaper and easier.

There are also disadvantages of using enzymes. This is evident in the same book on the same page as it mentions, “one problem with enzymes is that they are denatured at high temperatures, so the temperature must be kept down”. This shows that by using enzymes they can be denatured so you would have to be careful and keep an eye on the temperature. In addition, the pH needs to be controlled and it costs money to control these conditions which means it is bad. You would have to pay to control theses conditions and if you do not then the enzymes would denature which is not good.

The original BBC Bitesize GCSE website in the science section suggests that there are many enzymes, which are expensive to produce. This is evident on the website as it says, “In industry, enzymes allow reactions that normally need expensive, energy-demanding equipment to happen at normal temperatures and pressures. On the other hand, most enzymes are denatured at high temperatures.” This shows that many enzymes are quite expensive to produce and this is a disadvantage of using enzymes.

In conclusion, enzymes are used in many places like homes and in the industry because they can be good in ways such as using them in baby food, which would help the digestive system of babies. However, there are also some disadvantages of using enzymes for example some enzymes can be very expensive to produce. I believe that enzymes should be used in some places and should not in others, this way I think that there would not be trouble caused.

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Courtney from Study Moose

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