dairy products


Enzymes play complex roles in food production as well as general human health and nutrition. In simple terms, their job is to speed up chemical reactions. For example, digestive enzymes in the stomach, mouth, and small intestine help break down food, facilitating the absorption of nutrients into the body.

Over the years, humans have harnessed the power of different enzymes for a variety of applications. Enzymes help tenderize meat and facilitate the fermentation process when making beer, yogurt, and cheese. Industrial enzymes are essential to the medical and biofuel industries. They are also found in many detergents and cleansers.

Brenntag North America is one of the largest distributors of industrial enzymes for food and nutrition, among other applications. Keep reading to learn more about these useful substances and the many roles they play in both nature and industry. Alternatively, browse our catalog of more than 10,000 products or contact our office directly for assistance.

three glasses of different types of beer


Enzymes are the workhorses of the body. They break down carbohydrates (sugar and starch) to provide energy. Enzymes are involved in muscle contraction, nerve conduction, digestion, and most physiological functions. The majority of enzymes are proteins, though a small number, known as ribozymes, are catalytic RNA molecules.

The three primary applications of enzymes are to break things apart, change the shape of molecules, and to join molecules together. The major types of enzymes relevant to food processing are:

  • Amylase enzymes: Amylase enzymes help break down starches into dextrins or sugar.
    Amylase enzymes facilitate a type of hydrolysis known as saccharification and begin the
    process of digestion in the human body. Amylase is present in saliva and the pancreas.
  • Lipolytic enzymes: Lipolytic, or lipase, enzymes help the hydrolysis of fats into glycerol
    and fatty acids. Lipase enzymes are present in adipose tissue (body fat), where they
    convert stored fat into usable energy during exercise or fasting.
  • Protease enzymes: Protease enzymes assist in the hydrolysis of proteins into peptides
    and/or amino acids.

Enzymes have the capability of facilitating more than 5,000 types of chemical reactions. As we learn more and further refine our ability to synthesize and utilize them, enzymes will continue to be employed in a wide range of processes outside the body.


Several manufacturing and other industrial processes use enzymes as biocatalysts. Chemical companies produce enzymes from plant, animal, and microbial sources for use in vegetable and fruit processing, baking and milling, craft brewing and distilling, winemaking, and dairy and cheese processing, among other applications.

Each enzyme has a unique three-dimensional shape with a highly specific reactive capability. However, new research into protein engineering has promised to expand the potential uses of enzymes in industrial manufacturing.


Benefits of enzymes for baking and milling are:

  • Creates prolonged softness
  • Increase dough handling and volume
  • Volume increase in high fiber bread
  • Increase volume and softness
  • Improve dough strengthening and whiteness
  • Sugar replacement and improved crust color
  • Improve whiteness and finer crumb structure
  • Gluten correction in biscuits and wafers
  • Egg reduction in cakes
  • Emulsifier replacement and improved whiteness

Benefits of enzymes for craft brewing and distilling are:

  • Easier, simpler and more consistent processes
  • Fast processes
  • Improve steeping, brewing, cooking and germination
  • Improve mashing
  • Improve yeast nutrition
  • More flexibility in the choice of raw materials
  • More extraction from raw materials
  • Improve the quality of final products

Benefits of enzymes for dairy and cheese processing are:

  • Improve amino acid production for cheese flavor enhancement
  • Improve fat hydrolysis for cheese flavor enhancement
  • Improve yield, taste and texture of cheese
  • Aid in the production of cheese with consistent quality and reduced bitterness
  • Enable production of 'vegetarian cheese'
  • Help make cheese with smooth and velvety texture
  • Lactose reduction for milk, cheese and ice cream
  • Increase gel strength and viscosity thus improving consistency of fruit preparations in yogurt

Benefits of enzymes for fruit and vegetable processing are:

  • Faster and efficient juice extraction from apples and pears
  • Depectinization of juices
  • Haze clarification of juices
  • Maceration, color extraction and deceptization of grapes and berries
  • Cloud stability for citrus juices
  • Juice clarification of stone and tropical fruits
  • Vegetable juice and oil extraction
  • Fruit and vegetable firming and French Cider production
  • De-bittering of fruit juices
  • Improving throughout and membrane cleaning

Benefits of enzymes for wine making are:

  • Decrease viscosity
  • Increase press yields
  • Improve settling and enhance clarification
  • Improve depectination
  • Improve the extraction of tannins and aromas
  • Decrease the filtration time
  • Extract more color


Brenntag North America is a leading distributor of food and nutritional enzymes for industrial use. Our customers rely on us to provide them with the most advanced products on the market today. We are committed to food safety and supply chain traceability. Our goal is to ensure that each of our clients has the information they need to make informed decisions about the products they use.

Let us match you with the right item for your needs. Explore our catalog of enzymes for food & nutrition, or contact us today to speak with one of our experts.

Complete the form to start the conversation

This document is for informational purposes only. You accept sole responsibility for reading and complying with the Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s), as well as any other safety information, relating to the products listed herein. The information contained herein is based on Brenntag’s knowledge at the time of publication or release and not on any publications, independent studies, empirical evidence or other form of verification. You should not use or rely on any statements contained herein as a basis for any representations or warranties to your customers or end users as to the safety, efficacy or suitability of any product or for purposes of ensuring your compliance with any laws or regulations. Brenntag makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or as to fitness of any product for any particular purpose. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as an authorization to use or an inducement to practice any patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right. Before producing and distributing any product, it is your sole responsibility to adequately test and document the performance of the product and acquire any required intellectual property rights. You assume all risks for failing to do so and Brenntag shall not be liable (regardless of fault) to you, your employees, customers or end users or any third party for direct, special or consequential damages arising out of or in connection with the furnishing or use of this information. Please contact your local Brenntag representative if you have any questions about this information.