The application of enzymes in industry and medicine.
Enzyme technology is best described as the technology associated with the application of enzymes as the tools of industry, agriculture and medicine. Although the earliest reports concerning exploitation of enzymes were documented in the late 1800's, true industrial application on enzymes only began in earnest in the late 1960's. The majority of enzymes used in industrial/biotechnological applications are derived from particular fungi (Aspergillus) and bacteria (bacillus). Safe organisms must be used for customer-related applications. Enzymes are proteins and are nature's own biocatalysts. Enzymes are produced by living systems to accelerate and sustain the myriad of chemical reactions necessary to sustain life. More than 3000 enzymes catalysing a wide array of reactions are known to exist. The disintegration of foodstuffs to amino acids, sugars, and lipids is normally accomplished within 3-6 hours, depending on the amount and type of food. In the absence of enzymes, hydrolysis by digestive enzymes would take more than 30 years. Enzymes have many advantages over their chemical counterparts in that they are more specific, and generally posse's high catalytic properties. Enzymes can be immobilised, i.e., an enzymes can be linked to an inert support material without loss of activity that facilitates reuse and recycling of the enzyme. .
Enzymology is a critical part of understanding the cause of diseases. Most genetic diseases are a result of a particular enzyme deficiency. Similarly certain bacteria are more pathogenic because of an enzyme activity they possess. There are many examples of uses of enzymes in medicine, for example, glucose is always measured by an enzyme based test utilising glucose oxidise. Diabetics use strips of paper impregnated with glucose oxidise to monitor their blood sugar levels. The presence of an enzyme where there shouldn't be is also a vital diagnostic of disease.