Myriads of microorganisms and its products have been found to be important in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, paper and textile, industrial wastewater treatment and various agricultural industries. Positive microbial activities include elimination of toxic materials such as ammonia, nitrite and hydrogen sulfide, degradation of lignocellulosic/organic materials and production of important substances like enzymes.

Enzymes are highly selective organic catalysts that have evolved over billion of years to their high degree of perfection. Benefits of being highly selective include reduced side reactions, easier separations, and guarantees fewer negative environmental effects. They are also potentially useful because of the wide variety of reactions they catalyze and their ability to operate optimally under mild reaction conditions.

The soaring potential role of enzymes for a wide variety of industrial applications is widely recognized for centuries. Industrial biocatalysis has gained respect as an economically acceptable solution to many industrial problems. Enzymes are now replacing processes that heavily depended on chemicals, many of which are implicated in environmental damage.

It is projected that the increasing complexity of modern industry will bring about a corresponding increase in new and interesting uses of enzymes. While the use of enzymes is secured in the food, beverage and feed industries several new technologies will likewise benefit from its use. The utility of enzymes will increase in the chemical, pulp and paper, textile, waste treatment, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries. Other specialty applications include the use of enzymes in analytical applications, flavor production, protein modification, personal care products, DNA technology and fine chemical production.

Because of improved production technologies, very convenient application systems, its acceptance by food and feed producers and new application fields in the manufacture of many industrial products enzyme production becomes a progressive industry. At present, various industrial companies sell enzymes for a wide variety of uses. There is no reason to assume that enzyme use will decrease in the future since the development of various application sectors continue to rise. Although the volumes of pure enzyme protein produced at the moment are very small, the enzyme market in 2009 is estimated to be in the range of US$2.4 billion (www.bccresearch.com).

Enzymes are proteins that catalyze different kinds of biochemical reactions. Enzyme catalyzed synthesis of new products is safe and environment friendly as compared to chemical synthesis. They play an important role in biochemical pathways by increasing the velocity of certain highly specific reactions. The types of reaction that they catalyze are usually oxidation-reduction, hydrolysis, group transfer, bond-breaking, isomerization, or bond making, and according to the reactants with which they interact.

In the Philippines, most of the local industries rely on imported enzymes for basic, medical or industrial uses.

BIOTECH, U.P. Los Baños has pioneered the development of a technology for the local production of industrially important enzymes of microbial origin. Aside from local production of industrial enzymes, BIOTECH-UPLB also offers a pioneering technical service for the analyses of enzymes. The Enzyme Laboratory at BIOTECH-UPLB is the only laboratory in the Philippines that offers such service. It may also be the only one within the South East Asian region.

Likewise, the existence of the Enzyme Laboratory at BIOTECH-UPLB is of great help to the nation because verification of the activities of imported enzymes can now be analyzed before they are being registered and marketed here in the Philippines.

The publication of the services offered by the Enzyme Laboratory in the official website of UPLB and BIOTECH-UPLB is expected to increase the number of clients not only in the local market but also around the world especially in the Asian region.

 

 


 

National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIbiotech logoTECH)

University of the Philippines Los Baños

College, Laguna 403l, Philippines

Tel. Nos. 536-1620, 536-2721, 536-2725; Fax No. (049) 536-2721

Email: biotechdo.uplb@gmail.com, biotech@uplb.edu.ph

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