Relationship between enzymes used in detergents and alkalinity
All enzymes are proteins and are also protein molecules composed of more than 20 amino acids. It catalyzes the hydrolysis of peptide bonds in protein and polypeptide molecules. The proteases currently used in enzyme-containing cleaning agents are all prepared by bioengineering techniques of microbial fermentation. Proteases prepared from microorganisms are often classified into alkaline proteases, neutral proteases, and acid proteases depending on the optimum pH at which they act. Proteases used in detergents are most active in alkaline media. The most commonly used enzyme-containing detergents are alkaline proteases produced by Bacillus.
The lipase used in the cleaning agent is also alkaline resistant. For example, the activity of alkaline lipase obtained from Aspergillus oryzae increases with increasing pH, and the optimum pH is above 10. Therefore, lipase is suitable for environments with a pH higher than 10 and is a strong alkali resistant enzyme.
Cellulase is a general term for a group of enzymes that hydrolyze cellulose into glucose. The main chemical constituents of natural fibers such as cotton and linen are cellulose. Therefore, the cellulase added to the detergent has the effect of decomposing and removing fine microfibers on the surface of the cotton cloth, and is therefore particularly suitable for washing cotton clothes and towels. The washing method of soaking cotton fabric with alkaline cellulase has a long history in Europe and Japan, and cellulase is currently added to the detergent for washing cotton fabric.
Amylase is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch. The amylase added to the cleaning agent is a thermostable alkaline alpha-amylase produced by Bacillus and Bacillus licheniformis. Alpha-amylase and protease have good compatibility and can be used in combination. The amylase-containing cleaning agent is mainly used for washing laundry utensils, and removing starch dirt such as mashed potatoes, macaroni, cereals, and rice grains.