How are Enzymes made?
The starting point for enzyme production is a vial of a selected
strain of microorganisms. They will be nurtured and fed until
they multiply many thousand times. Then the desired end-product
is recovered from the fermentation broth and sold as a standardised
A single bacteria or fungus is able to produce only a very small
portion of the enzyme, but billions microorganisms, however, can
produce large amounts of enzyme. The process of multiplying microorganisms
by millions is called fermentation. Fermentation to produce industrial
enzymes starts with a vial of dried or frozen microorganisms called
a production strain.
One very important aspect of fermentation is sterilisation. In
order to cultivate a particular production strain, it is first
necessary to eliminate all the native microorganisms present in
the raw materials and equipment. If proper sterilisation is not
done, other wild organisms will quickly outnumber the production
strain and no production will occur.
The production strain is first cultivated in a small flask containing
nutrients. The flask is placed in an incubator, which provides
the optimal temperature for the microorganism cells to germinate.
Once the flask is ready, the cells are transferred to a seed fermenter,
which is a large tank containing previously sterilised raw materials
and water known as the medium. Seed fermentation allows the cells
to reproduce and adapt to the environment and nutrients that will
be encountered later on.
After the seed fermentation, the cells are transferred to a larger
tank, the main fermenter, where fermentation time, temperature,
pH and air are controlled to optimise growth. When this fermentation
is complete, the mixture of cells, nutrients and enzymes, called
the broth, is ready for filtration and purification.
Filtration and purification termed as downstream processing is
done after enzyme fermentation. The enzymes are extracted from
the fermentation broth by various chemical treatments to ensure
efficient extraction, followed by removal of the broth using either
centrifugation or filtration. Followed by a series of other filtration
processes, the enzymes are finally separated from the water using
an evaporation process.
After this the enzymes are formulated and standardised in form
of powder, liquid or granules.
At Maps, we believe that our enzyme products should have a stable
activity, storage comfort and most importantly be safe to use.