page 1 page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
< prev - next > Food processing Fruits vegetables and roots KnO 100271_Papain production (Printable PDF)
Papain is a common enzyme is obtained from the green papaya (pawpaw) fruit. Enzymes are
proteins that can increase the rate of biological changes such as the ripening of fruit. At the end
of an enzyme catalyzed reaction the enzyme itself is unchanged and is able to react again.
Enzymes are generally recognised by the ending -ase. This either indicates the nature of
the substance affected by the enzyme - carbohydrase acts on carbohydrate material and
proteases acts on proteins, for example -, or to indicate the nature of the reaction such as
transferases, which catalyse the transfer of atoms or groups of atoms within a substance.
Enzymes occur naturally in foods. Many traditional food processing technologies involve
their use. With today’s advanced understanding of food science, these enzymes
can be extracted, concentrated and added to foods during processing. An example is meat
tenderisers. Table 1 describes some of the more traditional technologies, and the enzymes
Traditional food
Enzymes used
To catalyze reaction
Amalase in flour
Maltase in yeast
Zymase in yeast
dioxide & ethanol
Cheese production
Rennin in rennet
Coagulation of milk
Alcoholic drink
Amylases, maltases Starch-maltose,
and zymase in raw
dioxide & ethanol
Tea and coffee
Oxidases in leaf and Polymerization of
colourless phenolic
compounds to brown
coloured compounds
Table 1: Traditional food processing using enzymes
Produce sugars for
yeast action and
carbon dioxide to
aerate bread
To help form curd
Produce sugars for
yeast action and
CO² for 'texture'
Give desirable
colour and flavour
to tea infusions
One important group of enzymes is the proteases. These enzymes catalyse the breakdown of
proteins. Examples of the application of proteases in the food processing industry are the chill-
proofing of beer (ensuring that fine precipitates or haziness - does not occur in the beer when
it is cooled ), tenderisation of meat, the production of dough for pizzas, and the production of
batter for waffles and wafers. The most common protease is papain.
There are a number of special difficulties in setting up small-scale papain production. Thorough
research is needed before attempting to start up a programme. The following factors must be
Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK
T +44 (0)1926 634400 | F +44 (0)1926 634401 | E | W
Practical Action is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee.
Company Reg. No. 871954, England | Reg. Charity No.247257 | VAT No. 880 9924 76 |
Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB