Enzymes in Bioflavor Production
Food additives especially food flavoring chemicals are widely used in the food and beverage products since it gives identical aroma, taste, or texture in a more economical way compared to the natural flavors which are usually extracted from plants or animals. Bioflavors as natural flavors nowadays are preferred by the consumer because it is perceived as a healthier option. In the previous article "Biotechnology: Biotransformation and De Novo Synthesis Fermentation in Bioflavor Production", we have explained how bioflavors are commonly produced. In the biotransformation of bioflavors production, enzymes (from both isolated- or purified-enzyme and microbial enzyme) have played an important role and determined the success of production.
What is enzyme?
Enzymes (en means ‘within’ and zume means ‘yeast’ in Greek) start to become popular since 1878 when Wilhelm Kühne (a German physiologist) found that a yeast can produce alcohol from sugar fermentation. Enzymes are kind of proteins that consisted of amino acids that are linked together in one or more polypeptide chains that can accelerate the production of targeted product like flavor compound by converting the substrate. The process happens without the enzymes being consumed during the reaction, hence they classified as catalyst. As biological catalyst, enzymes are not only very important to food and beverages industry, but also in fine chemicals, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, and many more .
Enzymes act as a potent catalyst where the number of substrate molecule that can be converted to product by single enzyme per unit time are very high and fast. Enzymes are also specific catalyst, meaning that it catalyzes the conversion of one type of substrate molecule into product molecule . One example is the enzymatic esterification reaction of citronella oil that contains aldehydes and alcohols using lipase. Since lipase are enzyme that used in the production of ester between carboxylic acid and alcohol, it specifically converts only alcohol of citronella oil and produce ester . Meanwhile, the aldehydes like citronellal and geranial remain unreacted.
There are many enzymes that work for producing flavor like lipases, proteases, glucosidases, esterase, and oxidoreductases. Here are the list of the specific reaction and examples in the production of flavor:
At Mitra Ayu, we are actively working on several R&D projects using Biotechnological method. Stay tuned for exciting new and innovative products from Mitra Ayu.
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 Enzymes: principles and biotechnological applications - PMC (nih.gov)
 Production of Food Flavouring Agents by Enzymatic Reaction and Microbial Fermentation (kmutnb.ac.th)
 Enzymes and flavour biotechnology | SpringerLink
 Preparation of ferulic acid from corn bran: Its improved extraction and purification by membrane separation | Request PDF (researchgate.net)