• Y. J. Owusu-Ansah


Enzymes are inherently associated with biological materials such as food. They have, therefore, remained an important element in food processing. Various processes, dating back to antiquity have only been successful through the use of enzymes. To some extent one might not consider enzyme applications as science especially if one considers that some of the applications are being carried out successfully by non-scientists. For example in Ghana, West Africa, the local ‘pito’ is brewed by mostly illiterate brewers using enzymes inherent in sprouted sorghum. The pito brewer does not know that enzymes are responsible for the product and that he or she is applying science. To the trained scientist, the biochemistry of the process becomes apparent once the details are explained. The importance and the duration of use of enzymes in food applications probably explain why various books and book chapters (Reed and Underkofler, 1966; Whitaker, 1974; Ory and Angelo, 1977; Birch et al., 1981; Dupuy, 1982; Swaisgood, 1985; Bigelis and Lasure, 1987; Leiva and Gekas, 1988) and review articles (Ghildyal et al., 1979; Taylor and Richardson, 1979; Olsen, 1984; Sheppard, 1986; Ardeshir, 1987; Alder-Nissen, 1987; Olsen and Christensen, 1987; Klacik, 1988) have been written on enzymes in food processing. Inherent biochemical processes such as fermentation, milk clotting and tenderization of meat are due to the action of these biocatalysts previously, and erroneously thought to be solely proteinacious. In some of these applications the enzymes are associated with the cell as compared to addition of exogenous commercial enzymes. Present enzyme technology allows better quality enzymes than those available by traditional processes to be produced. The use of these enzymes improves processes (Madsen et al., 1973; Kilara, 1982; Law and Wigmore, 1982) reduces cost (Jacobsen and Rasmussen, 1983) and even allows new and innovative products to be made (Aldler-Nissen, 1977; Gunther, 1979; Strobel et al., 1983). Although there are various food applications where enzymes associated with the cells are still used, these applications are not discussed in this chapter. Interested readers are referred to other excellent sources such as Source Book of Food Enzymology (Schwimmer, 1981) and Enzymes in Food Processing (Reed and Underkofler, 1966). The purpose of this chapter is to provide to the practising food scientist or technologist with practical information on application of commercial enzymes in food processing and technology.


Aspergillus Niger Food Processing Cocoa Butter Pull Ulan Bacillus Licheniformis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

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  • Y. J. Owusu-Ansah

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