Enzymes for Alcohol
The production of fermented alcoholic drinks from starch-based
raw materials has been practised since long. The raw material
for this differs from, maize (corn) and rye to barley and wheat
for whisky and other cereals for grain spirits.
But whatever the raw materials are, starch is still the basic
ingredient. Starch is composed of long chains of glucose molecules
and these have to be broken down into smaller molecules, which
the yeast can transform into alcohol. Enzymes can carry out this
process in two stages-liquefaction and saccharification.
Traditionally, enzymes have been provided by adding malt. However,
since quite some time, there has been a change and in many countries
malt has been totally replaced from distilling operations by the
use of enzymes. There are a lot of advantages using industrial
enzymes instead of malt, like small quantities of enzyme addition
can replace large quantities of malt, resulting easy handling
and storage. Even raw material costs are reduced by nearly 30%
when switching to commercial enzymes.
Before enzymes can attack the starch, it must be gelatinised.
This is usually done by pressure-cooking. Now-a-days, the old
no pressure cooking method has been gaining in popularity, especially
in smaller distilleries. Instead of temperatures around 150?C,
the maximum temperature ranges from 60?C to 95?C. This results
in energy savings and also capital savings since pressure vessels
are not required. Whatever the processing technique, alpha amylases
are used to break down the gelatinised starch to shorter molecules
Saccharification is the second step in the process. A glucoamylase
enzyme is used to break down the starch molecules and the dextrins.
This enzyme is capable of achieving the complete degradation of
the starch to fermentable sugars (glucose). During fermentation,
these sugars are converted into alcohol by yeast in simultaneous
saccharification and fermentation process.
Cereals, particularly maize have low soluble nitrogen. This results
in poor yeast growth and longer fermentation time. By adding a
small amount of protease enzyme helps in yeast growth and reduce
fermentation time. During distillation process it may be necessary
to reduce viscosity of the fermentation broth. To facilitate this
beta glucanase / pentosanase enzymes are added.
Maps offers a range of amylases, glucoamylase, proteases for distilling
depending on the processes and applications.
|Heat-stable alpha amylase for starch liquefaction
|Alpha amylase for starch liquefaction
|Glucoamylase for starch saccharification
|Fungal alpha amylase for starch saccharification
|Bacterial neutral protease for better yeast growth and
reducing fermentation time