MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: What are some commonly used enzymes in detergents?

Date: Thu Dec 9 13:47:19 1999
Posted By: Dick van Wassenaar, Analytical PROTEIN Biochemist, Unilever Research Laboratory
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 939601183.Bc

The majority of the [cloth] stains that needs to be removed by detergents 
are proteins, lipids and starch. In order to obtain proper removal of such 
stains proteases are used to degrade the proteins; lipases are used to 
degrade the lipid [fat = triglycerides] and amylases are used to degrade 
starch. All these enzymes function in solution at temperatures up to 60C 
and degrade the substrates [protein, lipid and starch]. By degrading the 
substrate they become smaller in size and thereby [usually] better soluble 
in water and are thereby easily removed from the cloth

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