in this article we will discuss about enzymes and its production on commercial scale.
Enzyme is an organic catalyst formed by a living cell. Enzymes are mostly obtained from plant and animal cells. Now-a-days microorganisms are becoming excellent sources for industrial production of certain enzymes. Many microorganisms are known to excrete enzymes into their growth media during the fermentation processes of various industries such as pharmaceutical, food, textile, etc.
High yields and quality of such enzyme is determined to a great extent by suitable strain selection and the cultural conditions. Since these enzymes are used in various industries, their large scale production is essential. Most of the commercial enzymes are obtained from aerobic microorganisms.
The following two processes are generally employed:
(1) Surface culture method
(2) Semisolid or Solid culture method
(1) Surface Culture Method:
Surface culture method was largely used prior to the World War II. In this method shallow trays were used to grow microorganisms. Hence large scale productions of enzymes were difficult and costly.
(2) Semisolid or Solid Culture Method:
In the semisolid or solid culture method enzyme production and fermentations are carried out in closed, deep tank fermenters varying between 1,000 to 30,000 gallon capacities. A substrate (e.g., wheat bran, sugar beet and cellulose are taken depending upon the type of microorganisms to be taken to excrete enzyme) moistened with a suitable nutrient solution is sterilized and then inoculated with mould spores (most of the enzymes are of fungal origin). The substrate allows air to penetrate and the mould mycellia grow throughout.When the enzyme level reaches its maximum, the fermented mass is extracted with water and the enzyme is separated out with a suitable solvent. It is now filtered, concentrated and dried.