Published July 2002
Amylase is a generic term given to starch-degrading enzymes. These enzymes are used for a variety of purposes, for instance in cleaning products, in starch processing, in textile production, in baking, and in brewing. Amylases used in cleaning products assist soil removal by breaking down the starch components in the soils. In starch processing, amylases break down starch into oligosaccharides that can be further processed (e.g. to glucose by glucoamylase and to high-fructose corn syrup by glucose isomerase). In textiles, amylases are used for desizing of fibers after weaving. In baking, amylase alter starch properties to improve product quality. In brewing, amylases are used to break down starch into fermentable sugars.
alpha-Amylases, a type of endoamylase, hydrolyze internal alpha-1,4-linkages between glucose units in the starch polymer. Because most linkages in starch molecules are of the internal alpha-1,4-type, alpha-amylases arethe most important class of amylases. This review discusses the production of bacterial á -amylase, using a Bacillus microorganism (Bacillus licheniformis), as the producing microorganism. The design basis is for a 600,000 lb./yr. (270 tonne/yr.) production plant. The plant design includes fermentation, cell removal, enzyme concentration, and granulation into a finished product.