Enzymes in Medical Detergents Overview
What are enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts. This means that they speed up processes in every living organism. They are found everywhere, thousands of them exist within our bodies and there are even more in nature. In our bodies and those of animals, they play roles in many critical biological functions including cellular metabolism, detoxification of chemicals and digestion. Nature relies on enzymes to maintain natural carbon and nitrogen cycles necessary for life to exist and persist. With the aid of certain specific enzymes, reactions needed to breakdown organic molecules can occur in milliseconds. These types of reactions are occurring within us, all around us and they are critical to life.
Where are enzymes used today?
For thousands of years, many civilizations have harnessed the power of enzymes in brewing, baking and making cheese. 1 While enzymes are used in many similar ways today, the science of enzymes has evolved tremendously creating opportunities for new “green and sustainable” applications in many industries. Enzymes are used to improve efficiency of a wide variety of industrial processes -- for example, in the manufacture of margarine, beer, yogurt, leather, textiles and ethanol. Enzymes are also routinely added to detergents to help remove stains from fabrics, caked on food from dirty dishes and patient soils from used surgical instruments including endoscopes.