An enzyme is a protein with catalytic properties. Like other proteins they are composed of up to 20 different amino-acids. Industrial applications range from food processing, raw material upgrading over the detergent and textile industry to applications in the pharmaceutical industries.
The production of enzymes
Most enzymes are produced by fermentation, mostly submerged. After recovery and purification, the enzymes are standardized in a liquid or powder form, depending on the later application. Powder form is where GEA Niro's highly developed range of spray dryers are applicable.
The main requirements for the powder could be:
- Non-dusty granulate: These products are mainly produced in the Fluidized Spray Dryer FSD™ plant which gives a free-flowing, granulated, non-dusty product, e.g. enzymes for the baking industry.
- Protected non-dusty granules: typically granulates inserted in detergent powders. The granules are produced in a multi-stage process; the first one consisting in protecting the enzyme with wax by spray cooling. Later the granules are built up in a fluid bed dryer.
- Very fine particles: can be produced in the quite simple spray dryer equipped with rotary or nozzle atomization. In this case, special protective measures have to be envisaged during production as well as later application, as enzyme dust is very allergenic.
GEA Niro has delivered more than 40 installations operating in the service of enzyme producers.