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9th April 2020

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The Use of Microbial Derived Enzymes in Response to African Swine Fever

Author: Carolyn Pritchard
Role: Technical Marketing Manager

African Swine Fever ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs and is responsible for significant production and economic loss. The virus can be spread by live or dead pigs or pork products, transmission can also occur from contaminated fomites (non-living objects) i.e. shoes, equipment, knifes and vehicles. There is no vaccine for ASF and outbreaks are currently being reported across Eastern Europe and significant areas of Asia including China where domestic husbandry of pigs has been severely depleted. Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet and accounts for over 50% of global pork consumption. The increased demand for importing of whole pig carcasses into China has put significant strain on pig producing markets in Europe and has also created a shortage of pork-based products in speciality markets i.e. pig organs for the collection and production of enzymes such as insulin, trypsin and pancreatin from the pancreas. These enzymes are often used in the food and pharmaceutical markets, as well as the growing digestive aids market. Production and supply of collagen and gelatine from hides and skin both used in food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, have also been impacted by ASF.

We at Biocatalysts use porcine enzymes in a number of our products and have done for over 35 years. Animal-derived enzymes have countless benefits, they are GMO free, have a broad spectrum of activity, and are generally known as good “work horse” enzymes and until recently have been easily sourced and of a consistent quality.

In conjunction with the supply of animal-derived enzymes we have over the years been building our portfolio of microbially produced enzyme alternatives initially in response to the growing consumer demand for Kosher, Halal and vegetarian alternatives and to food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers requesting more specific enzyme activities that can be provided by enzymes that have been specifically selected for the process.pet food

At Biocatalysts we are always looking to respond to customer demands, and the recent increased global presence of ASF has meant many food ingredients and pet food manufacturers are looking for alternatives to porcine-derived enzymes. Pancreatin contains amylase, protease and lipase activities, and therefore can be used in a wide number of applications from producing protein hydrolysates to digestive aid supplements for the nutraceuticals market. A key application for using pancreatic enzymes is generating savoury flavours by hydrolysing protein and fats. A pancreatic lipase is particularly beneficial when used on substrates that have a naturally high fat content, for example a pancreatic lipase can be very effective when used in the enzyme modified cheese process alongside proteases to generate a more intense and mature cheese flavour that can be added to processed cheese and other cheese flavouring ingredients. It is not just the flavour of our food that can be enhanced using pancreatic lipases, they are also widely used by many pet food manufacturers. Hydrolysing animal fat such as lard or tallow releases the fatty acids from the glycerol backbone which can generate a savoury meaty flavour. The natural flavours in pet food can potentially be lost during the manufacturing process, and therefore these palatants are then often used as a coating on pet food to replace some of the lost natural flavouring and producing a more appealing product to cats and dogs.

In response to the increased market demand for alternatives to animal-derived enzymes due to the disruption of supply from ASF, Biocatalysts have developed a microbial pancreatic lipase, Lipomod™ 888MDP (L888MDP) specifically for use in applications where manufacturers are looking to hydrolyse different fats to generate flavour. Lipomod™ 888MDP performs like pancreatic lipase in application and provides the reassurance of consistent quality and supply of the enzyme. During the development process we were very aware to ensure that all components were Kosher, Halal, GMO-free compliant as well as vegetarian and vegan, we understand that this additional product benefit supports our customer’s drive to meet the consumer demand for clean label products in all their forms.

If you’re interested in a sample, or more information regarding enzymes for hydrolysing fats please contact Biocatalysts to discuss your needs.

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