Fruit juice production and enzyme recovery

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Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), in this investigation, students look at the effectiveness of enzymes used in the commercial production of fruit juices.

Fruit juice companies use enzymes to break down the cells walls within the fruits and release the liquids and the sugars which make up the fruit. Pectinases, amylases and cellulases all break down different structures and so affect the extraction process in different ways. A variety of polysaccharides are found within the juice extract that can cause the juice to become cloudy. Pectinases and amylases can break down these insoluble compounds to produce a clearer, sweeter product.

Enzymes are expensive and students investigate their optimum use. 

The investigation is designed for students following a Scottish Highers course but it is equally useful for other post-16 courses in biology. It could also be adapted for younger secondary school students.

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