Bio-enzymes: production technology

Code No: TMS135 Price: Rs1600/- Category: Rs1600/-


Executive Summary

Biotechnology, during he last two decades has emerged as a technological revolution around the world. It has influenced almost every sector of industrial activity – chemical feedstock, food, feed, environment, energy and health care. In general, commercial applications of bio technology developments is directly driven by social and environmental needs, besides economic forces. Also, it requires an understanding and application of a range of basic scientific and engineering disciplines, including microbiology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, chemical and bioprocess engineering, besides molecular biology and genetics. Other desirable features of industrial biotechnology include their dependence on renewable feedstock, low energy consumption and environmentally favourable processing that can potentially lead to sustainable development.

Although biological processes involving living sells and their constituents have been used by mankind over along history, real break though has emerged with developments in both biological and engineering sciences, during the last fifty years.

Enzymes are the key players in biological activities. All chemical reactions occurring in living cells (for breakdown of nutrients and synthesis of cellular constituents) are catalysed by their group of molecules – enzymes. These are naturally evolved biocatalysts that are designed to perform their function in an efficient manner, and still providing a precise and suitable control mechanism to the cell for survival under range of environmental conditions.

In recent years, enzymes have found numerous applications in the flood, pharmaceutical, diagnostic an chemical processing industries. The trend for their application in almost every sector is on increase. Based on the knowledge of the behaviour of enzymes, a number of unfavourable perceptions associated with the use of enzymes as industrial catalysts have been overcome, leading to the emergence of many new application areas

Two different studies have been conducted by TIFAC on areas related to enzyme production. Copies of their title and content pages are included in the beginning of this report. The present update report should be studied in the context of the earlier two reports. The desired technical information lacking in the earlier reports has been addressed in details, so that a comprehensive picture emerges.

Objective and Scope

The broad objective and scope of the present techno-market survey (TMS) has been:

i) To review he current status of technology in the field of enzyme production and applications in India and abroad with the aim of outlining gaps and understating its economic impact.

ii) To assess/identify the technology areas for further development keeping in view the resource parameters such as raw material, energy and manpower etc. besides the product demand, resulting in appropriate technologies for the country.

iii) To recommend for implementation or preferred technology options, both for industrial and R&D activities.

iv) To develop technology assessment capabilities in the country.

v) To develop an implementation action plan, including identification of the agencies for specific activities.

Methodology followed

To assess the technology and markets for the enzymes on a realistic and sound basis, the information has been collected in parallel from various sources including books, periodicals, patent literature and symposium proceedings. Efforts have been made to refer the recent resource literature as far as possible.

A number of scientific and industrial managers were contacted by post of collection of requisite information on development of enzymes, their production technology and market scenario. Present status of technology in the world, current research programmes and emerging trends were determined. Based on this study, discussions were held with a number of scientist and industry managers I the field of enzyme technology and their feedback was used to derive conclusions. Three sets of questionnaires (enclosed) were used for the above study one each of enzyme manufacturers, enzyme users industries and scientist engaged in enzyme technology.

In addition to direct personal contact, annual report of various R&D organizations associated with enzyme technology were also consulted to identify their current research efforts. Based on the literate o enzyme application in industry, and analysis of data collected above potential enzymes for large scale manufacture were identified. Their application potential and requirement in Indian process industries has been gauges keeping in view the possibility of cost reduction/improved quality/alternative raw materials and environmental issues. Various resources such as raw material, infrastructure, manpower etc. for enzyme production in India have been critically analyzed to arrive at the preferred technology options available to the country. Finally a process design summary for a model enzyme production facility has been proposed.

One of the major limitation experienced during the techno market survey has been the absence of a data bank on enzyme production, their applications in India and comprehensive R&D activities on the related subjects. Even, many of the scientists involved in R&D efforts were not very much aware of the market scenario and economic aspects.

Report Structure

1. A critical techno economic analysis on enzymes should covers an extensive study of the characteristic properties, mode of action and applications of major groups of enzymes. The report covers a broad study of different industrially useful enzymes like amylases, cellulases, hemicelluloses, pectinases, proteinases, lipases, glucose isomerase, lactase, glucose oxidase, lipooxidase and penicillin acylase etc.

2. The report, after covering general features related to enzymatic processing discusses various applications of enzymes as followed in current industrial practices. The application areas are classified in six major groups:

a) Enzymes as final products
b) Enzymes as processing aids
c) Enzymes in food and beverage production
d) Enzymes as industrial biocatalysts
e) Enzyme in genetic engineering

3. Industrial production of enzymes requires a clear understanding of the associated scientific and technological issues. These issues range from identification of the biological sources for enzyme production to their genetic manipulation for overproduction, strategies for cell cultivation, isolation, purification and stabilization. Further, their industrial application require immobilization and /or use in micro-aqueous environment. These issues are critically considered in Chapter III of the report.

4. The report also covers the National and international scenario about the production, consumption and application pattern of industrial enzymes (Chapter IV and V).

5. Resources required for the development of enzyme based industries in India are critically examined in Chapter VI.

6. Based on the assessment of the technological status and resource parameters, potential technology options are proposed along with a recommended action plan.

Major observations/findings and analysis thereof

i) While the production of enzymes and their use in food and beverage industry has a long history; significant activities in this direction have emerged during last thirty years, mainly due to developments in applied biological, chemical, physical and engineering sciences.

ii) The range of enzyme application sectors has now become large and is continuously increasing.

iii) Like biotechnology, in general, the enzyme technology is a highly R&D oriented activity. The growth of enzyme based industry, is therefore directly linked with an active R&D programme covering various scientific and technological issues.

iv) Worldwide sales of industrial enzymes has made a vary fast growth beyond 1980 and this is still increasing at about 10% per annum. Western Europe, U.S.A. and Japan account for almost 85-90% of the total enzyme consumption in the world. Various proteases cover a major share of world market for enzymes. Among industrial sectors; detergents consume more then one third of enzymes used, followed by starch processing and dairy.

v) Total enzyme consumption figures of India are comparatively low: the consumption has been increasing fast. A major difference is noticed in the enzyme consumption pattern, compared to world figures, e.g. the use of enzyme in detergents is much smaller. Most of the ongoing enzyme production facilities in the country use conventional technologies and have not adopted the recent developments. Although a large number of academic institutions/ universities are involved in basic research in enzymology applied R&D and process engineering activities have been lacking behind. Creation of multidisciplinary R&D groups to trace up application oriented research on enzymes can lead to the desired goals. Further since the resources are scorce, net working and strengthening of capabilities available in existing institutions and universities should be given priority. This will significantly enhance the ‘core complence’.

vi) A large quantity of raw materials and trained manpower is available in the country, that can sustain the growth of enzyme based industry. However, intensive efforts are needed for the development of process technology through well planned reoriented R&D activities. Capabilities in bioprocess engineering of technologies also need strengthening. Care needs to be taken to arrange for specific utilities require for these activities.

vii) Special efforts are needed to formulate favourable government policies tp promote academic-industry interaction. Well documented and fool-proof guidelines on biosafety and intellectual property rights are not available with Department of biotechnology, GOI and other international agencies.

Major Recommendations

a) Establishment of at least four new industrial ventures for production of industrial enzyme using submerged fermentation facilities.

b) Starting of a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary coordinated project on ‘Applied Biocatalysts’ to match the needs of the related industries and their further development.

c) Creation of a data bank covering information on enzyme production, application and R&D status in India and world.

d) Strengthening of manpower training in bioprocess engineering and provide for equal career growth in scientific R&D, technology / engineering and management.

e) Reorientation of scientific R&D with direct relevance to industrial activities or development potentials.