Enymes are usually globular proteins. They work as biological catalysts that facilitate chemical reactions in living cells under a relatively mild biological temperature range.
Enzyme-mediated chemical conversion of a substance ia an energy efficient process; raw material consumption is decreased, CO2 emission is reduced, production costs are reduced, and often replace toxic chemical processes.
Some enzymes have traditional uses; for example, papain from papaya is traditionally used for tenderizing meat, and rennin of animal origin is used to clot milk during cheese manufacture.
In recent, times, the industrial demand for enzymes in the manufacture of detergents, textiles, leather, paper, human food and animal feed has been increasing every year.
Genetic engineering has made it possible to use microorganisms in bioreactors for the bulk production of enzymes in various industries.
Certain specific techniques are used to develop recombinant microorganisms for high yield of the desired enzymes. These include rDNA technology, traditional mutation and breeding and protein engineering and directed evolution.
Enzymes remain structurally and functionally intact after a catalytic cycle. Thus, reutilization of enzymes instead of discarding with the reaction fluid after each cycle is economical. Immobilization of enzymes on solid supports precisely achieves this goal.
There are several techniques for immobilization of enzymes on various solid supports for industrials purposes.