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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006 Jul;45(2):144-158.

Food-processing enzymes from recombinant microorganisms--a review.

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Food Additive Safety, HFS-255, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, USA.


Enzymes are commonly used in food processing and in the production of food ingredients. Enzymes traditionally isolated from culturable microorganisms, plants, and mammalian tissues are often not well-adapted to the conditions used in modern food production methods. The use of recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to manufacture novel enzymes suitable for specific food-processing conditions. Such enzymes may be discovered by screening microorganisms sampled from diverse environments or developed by modification of known enzymes using modern methods of protein engineering or molecular evolution. As a result, several important food-processing enzymes such as amylases and lipases with properties tailored to particular food applications have become available. Another important achievement is improvement of microbial production strains. For example, several microbial strains recently developed for enzyme production have been engineered to increase enzyme yield by deleting native genes encoding extracellular proteases. Moreover, certain fungal production strains have been modified to reduce or eliminate their potential for production of toxic secondary metabolites. In this article, we discuss the safety of microorganisms used as hosts for enzyme-encoding genes, the construction of recombinant production strains, and methods of improving enzyme properties. We also briefly describe the manufacture and safety assessment of enzyme preparations and summarize options for submitting information on enzyme preparations to the US Food and Drug Administration.

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