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The enzymes in sugar industry

Posted by yashiganguly on September 5th, 2017

Enzymes the biological catalysts have changed the face of many industries including, textile, food, dairy, and sugar industry is no exception. Today enzymes are being used in sugar industry for achieving different goals though their role is somewhat limited. Today, Industrial enzymes suppliers in India are manufacturing a variety of enzymes for the sugar industry and enabling the sugar refinery owners to reap higher profits. The use of raw sugar refinery enzymes makes the process less cumbersome, eco-friendly and cheaper.

The sucrose industry is a comparatively minor user of enzymes but provides few historically significant and instructive examples of enzyme technology The hydrolysis ('inversion') of sucrose, completely or partially, to glucose and fructose provides sweet syrups that are more stable (i.e. less likely crystallize) than pure sucrose syrups. The most familiar 'Golden Syrup' produced by acid hydrolysis of one of the less pure streams from the cane sugar refinery but other types of syrup are produced using yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) invertase. Although this enzyme is unusual in that it suffers from substrate inhibition at high sucrose levels this does not prevent its commercial use at even higher concentrations.

Raw sugar refinery enzymes have diverse applications and with time their use is getting even more and more dynamic.Traditionally, invertase was produced on site by autolysing yeast cells. The autolysate was added to the syrup to be inverted together with small amounts of xylene to prevent microbial growth. The enzyme and xylene were removed during the subsequent refining and evaporation. Partially inverted syrups were and still are produced by blending totally inverted syrups with sucrose syrups. Now, commercially produced invertase concentrates are employed.

The production of hydrolysates of a low molecular weight compound in essentially pure solution seems an obvious opportunity for the use of an immobilized enzyme, yet this is not done on a significant scale, probably because of the extreme simplicity of using the enzyme in solution and the basic conservatism of the sugar industry.

Invertase, another important Raw sugar refinery enzymes finds another use in the production of confectionery with liquid or soft centers. These centers are formulated using crystalline sucrose and tiny amounts of invertase. At this level of the enzyme, inversion of sucrose is very slow so the center remains solid long enough for enrobing with chocolate to be completed. Then, over a period of days or weeks, sucrose hydrolysis occurs and the increase in solubility causes the centers to become soft or liquid, depending on the water content of the center preparation.

Apart from this many other enzymes are used as aids to sugar production and refining by removing materials which inhibit crystallization or cause high viscosity. In some parts of the world, sugar cane contains significant amounts of starch, which becomes viscous, thus slowing filtration processes and making the solution hazy when the sucrose is dissolved. This problem can be overcome by using the most thermostable -amylases which are entirely compatible with the high temperatures and pH values that prevail during the initial vacuum evaporation stage of sugar production.

Also See: Sugar Refinery, Sugar Industry, Refinery Enzymes, Raw Sugar, Sugar, Sucrose, Enzymes

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