29 Jun 2020 — Enzymes are biological catalysts used to formulate around cleaner labels for F&B goods by replacing traditional additives, such as synthetic emulsifiers. Beyond this, the active ingredients are in-demand for their potential to cut back carbon emissions and enhance sensorial properties in beer, bread, meat analogs and other offerings. FoodIngredientsFirst speaks to key suppliers active in the space to explore this myriad of enzymatic functionalities and the hurdles stemming from a lack of consistency in global regulation of this sector.
“In the brewing industry, there’s an increased interest in sugar reduction, we see a revival of ‘light beers’ with reduced calories, and an uptake of ‘brut’ styles, also known as dry beers. Enzymes can be helpful in addressing all of these needs and are distinctly beneficial in ‘brut’ style beers,” says Allyson Fish, Global Business Director, Food Enzymes & Protection, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.
She further highlights the sharp growth in the non-alcoholic beer segment and an increasing interest in co-product valorization. “In this case, we’re looking to address these challenges by leveraging the breadth of our DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences portfolio. However, our biggest contribution to the brewing industry is the difference our enzymes can make by reducing water and/or energy use in the brewing process and enabling brewers to use local raw materials instead of malted barley.”
AMYLEX 6T is DuPont’s latest adjunct liquefaction enzyme for the brewing and distilling industry. The enzyme enables gains for breweries and distilleries including the ability to expand into new segments with locally-sourced raw materials and maximized yield. In March, the supplier introduced LAMINEX MaxFlow 4G to the brewing industry in Australia. LAMINEX MaxFlow 4G is touted as being efficient in reducing high-molecular weight beta-glucan and pentosan levels in all types of wort, making mash separation and beer filtration “much easier and faster” due to the reduction in wort viscosity.
Also in the brewery segment, taste and nutrition manufacturer Kerry specializes in a bioglucanase enzyme range, which is designed to increase throughput on crossflow membrane filtration systems; provide higher thermostability; enable a higher percentage for the use of adjuncts; improve yields and reduce its overall carbon footprint during the production of beer.
“In the case of one brewery, we helped our customer produce the same high-quality beer with reduced cost and simultaneously reduce carbon emissions by more than 6,000 mtCO₂ per annum, or in other terms, the energy used to power circa 700 homes for one year,” remarks Dr. Jacques Georis, Global RD&A Enzymes and Brewing Ingredients Director at Kerry.
Sustainability remains a prominent theme in the brewing space, which enzymes help to drive forward. “Brewers are finding themselves under increasing pressure to maximize production capacity, speed up the brewing process and reduce waste, as well as achieve the necessary savings in energy and water usage to continue working sustainably,” says Joana Carneiro, Business Director Beverages at DSM.
“Part of DSM’s portfolio of brewing enzymes, Brewers Clarex, helps producers improve the sustainability of the brewing processes by reducing water and energy usage, as well as delivering cost, time and resource savings to help increase production capacity and operate more efficiently,” she notes.
Alternatives to traditional emulsifiers
The use of enzymes to elevate the sensorial properties and shelf life in baked goods is wide-reaching. DuPont’s latest enzyme innovation for this segment is the POWERBake 6000 and 7000 enzyme series, developed as versatile solutions to enhance dough strength. “POWERBake 6000 and 7000 are an enzyme-series based on lipases with a supporting oxidative enzyme module. Used in combination, they are an efficient clean-label alternative to commonly be used emulsifiers in, for example, white bread and burger buns, where they provide volume, structure and a soft crumb,” details Fish.
Kerry also specializes in enzymes for the bakery segment, such as Biobake – a clean label enzyme range to enhance the texture and appearance over extended shelf life for ambient and frozen baked goods. “These enzymes have enabled our customers to extend the shelf life of their doughnuts from seven to ten days while maintaining softness. They have also helped improve process efficiencies in a cracker manufacturing plant by increasing line throughput from 68 to 90 percent while significantly reducing dough development time,” says Dr. Georis at Kerry.
Another key growth area for enzymes is the protein segment. Fish notes, “The increasing demand for nutritious protein calls for a better utilization of the protein already available in the food chain but under-utilized. How do you effectively extract protein from plants or co-products, and ensure a better utilization of the protein?”
DuPont’s FoodPro protein hydrolysis enzymes come into play in this space. “The industry uses these enzymes to recover plant proteins and hydrolysates used for nutrition but also functionally in foods and beverages, such as binding, gelling or texturizing in various recipes.”
Enzymes for unlocking plant power
Going forward, the growing interest in plant-based foods will require new enzymes that can modify plant-based protein sources to resemble animal derived protein sources. “This will require whole new insights and developments from the industry in the coming years. However, finding enzymes doing complex chemical reactions is complicated so it is not straightforward to develop new enzymes that can develop the desired traits in plant-based food,” envisions Michael Fooken Jensen, Commercial Development Director – Food Cultures & Enzymes at Chr. Hansen.
Novozymes has recently launched two new enzymes that enable food manufacturers to produce meat alternatives with less salt and a clean label. The rapidly growing market for plant-based analogs calls for vegetarian ways to recreate the umami taste of meat. Novozymes’ latest biological solution offers an alternative to yeast extract and traditional hydrolyzed vegetable proteins (HVP).
Fruit processing – including citrus juice and olive oil processing – is another application where enzymes have steadily been gaining traction, thanks to rising interest among health-conscious consumers for fruit-based products. For manufacturers, ensuring that their fruit processing capabilities are both efficient and eco-friendly while meeting this demand is adjunctly important.
“Enzymes are becoming an essential part of fruit and vegetable processing. For instance, DSM’s range of Rapidase enzymes is designed to increase yield, shorten production times, clarify fruit juice more effectively, firm up fruit and intensify juice color in a natural and sustainable way,” highlights Carneiro at DSM.
One challenge in the enzyme market is the lack of consistency across the global regulatory landscape. “This challenge stems in part, from the wide range of familiarity among regulatory authorities with enzyme technology, its uses and manufacturing. There is also a lack of appreciation for the long history of safely using enzymes and microbes in food. Hence, different countries may have different viewpoints on data requirements,” flags Fish at DuPont.
“Industry is working with global organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to harmonize these requirements and, ultimately, we’d like to achieve mutual recognition of safety assessments and approvals done by one of several reliable regulatory agencies by others around the globe. This will help expedite our ability to bring innovation to the market and benefit our customers,” she explains.
“From a regulatory point of view, the landscape for enzymes is complex with frequent updates to regulations dependent on a number of different factors namely, relevant countries, regions and applications in question,” echoes Dr. Georis at Kerry. “All enzymes – irrespective of their downstream application – undergo rigorous safety evaluation and must meet strict safety standards according to the national regulations that are in place worldwide. Acting globally requires a permanent monitoring of all changes and new requirements of those national or regional regulations.”
Another prominent hurdle for the sector is encouraging customers to become more comfortable with utilizing enzymes. “The knowledge needed to effectively use enzymes can make customers hesitant. As a biology-based solution, enzymes interact differently with other ingredients in the process, formulation or recipe, sometimes in multiple ways. Adding a certain dosage of enzymes resulting in the desired functionality is not always straightforward. Providing customers with guidance on how best to use enzymes and leveraging our applications know-how is critical,” concludes Fish at Dupont.
By Benjamin Ferrer
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