Designed for detergents
Through protein engineering, detergent enzymes are designed for compatibility with detergents. Protein engineering can solve issues related to detergent enzyme stability, a challenge commonly encountered with non-engineered enzymes. In some cases it can even improve performance.
All detergent enzymes break down soils by cleaving the bonds in the molecules of a soil’s components into smaller, more water-soluble fragments. That makes mechanical removal more effective. Surfactants and builders also help the process.
Reducing soaking and scrubbing time
Including enzymes in hand dishwash formulation reduces both soaking and scrubbing time. It also boosts the benefits of both. That’s because enzymes speed up the reaction that breaks down starch and protein soils.
How amylases speed up the breakdown of starch soils
Amylase enzymes and surfactants efficiently remove starch soils from foods like rice, pasta and potatoes. Amylases break down the soil into smaller components, which makes them easier for surfactants to solubilize and remove.
Like all enzymes, amylases become active immediately after coming in contact with water. When the activated amylase enzyme comes into contact with a layer of starch molecules, it adopts a specific orientation. This exposes a particular region of the enzyme.
This region is called the enzyme’s active site. It’s partly made up of residues that form temporary bonds with the starch molecules. It also consists of residues that cause a reaction of the starch molecules.
Cleaving the bonds
Amylases cleave the bonds in the molecule at the point indicated by the arrow in the model below. That breaks the starch molecule down into smaller molecules such as glucose. Because these molecules are smaller, they’re easier for surfactants to solubilize.