The Role of Enzymes

H.S.Olsen; P. Falholt.


“The Role of Enzymes in Modern Detergency”

J. Surf. Det., 1(44), 555-567 (1998)




Enzymes have effectively assisted the development and improvement of modern household and industrial detergents. The major classes of detergent enzymes – proteases, lipases, amylases and cellulases – each provide specific benefits for application in laundry and automatic dishwashing.  Historically, proteases were first to be used extensively in laundry detergents. In addition to raising the level of cleaning they have also provided environmental benefits by reducing energy consumption through shorter washing times, lower washing temperatures, and reduced water consumption. Today proteases are joined by lipases and amylases in improving detergent efficacy especially for household laundering at lower temperatures and, in industrial cleaning operations, at lower pH levels. Cellulases contribute to overall fabric care by rejuvenating or maintaining the new appearance of washed garments. Enzymes are produced by fermentation technologies that utilize renewable resources.

C.C. Fuglsang; C. Johansen; S. Christgau; J. Adler-Nissen.


“Antimicrobial Enzymes: Application and Future Potential in the Food Industry”

Trends. Food. Sci. Technol., 6, 390-396 (1995)




Antimicrobial enzymes are ubiquitous in nature, playing a significant role in the defense mechanisms of living organisms against infection by bacteria and fungi. Hydrolytic antimicrobial enzymes function by degrading key structural components of the cell walls of bacteria and/or fungi, whereas antimicrobial oxidoreductases exert their effects by the generation in situ of reactive molecules. The potential of these enzymes in food preservation is still far from realized at present.


E.H. Hansen; L. Albertsen; T. Schaefer; C. Johansen; J.C. Frisvad; S. Molin; L. Gram.


“Curvularia haloperoxidase: Antimicrobial Activity and Potential Application as a Surface Disinfectant”

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 69, 4611-4617 (2003)




A presumed antimicrobial enzyme system, the Curvularia haloperoxidase system, was examined with the aim of evaluating its potential as a sanitizing agent. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, Curvularia haloperoxidase facilitates the oxidation of halides, such as chloride, bromide, and iodide, to antimicrobial compounds.The Curvularia haloperoxidase system caused several-log-unit reductions in counts of bacteria (Pseudomonas spp., Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens, Aeromonas salmonicida, Shewanella putrefaciens, Staphylococcus epidermidis,and Listeria monocytogenes), yeasts (Candida sp. and Rhodotorula sp.), and filamentous fungi (Aspergill us niger, Aspergillus tubigensis, Aspergillus versicolor, Fusarium oxysporum, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Penicillium paxilli) cultured in suspension. Also, bacteria adhering to the surfaces of contact lenses were killed. The numbers of S. marcescens and S. epidermidis cells adhering to contact lenses were reduced from 4.0 and 4.9 log CFU to 1.2 and 2.7 log CFU, respectively, after treatment with the Curvularia haloperoxidase system. The killing effect of the Curvularia haloperoxidase system was rapid, and 106 CFU of E. coli cells/ml were eliminated within 10 min of treatment. Furthermore, the antimicrobial effect was short lived, causing no antibacterial effect against E. coli 10 min after the system was mixed. Bovine serum albumin (1%) and alginate (1%) inhibited the antimicrobial activity of the Curvularia haloperoxidase system, whereas glucose and Tween 20 did not affect its activity. In conclusion, the Curvularia haloperoxidase system is an effective sanitizing system and has the potential for a vast range of applications, for instance, for disinfection of contact lenses or medical devices.