The role of enzymes in modern detergency

Abstract

Enzymes have effectively assisted the development and improvement of modern household and industrial detergents. The major classes of detergent enzymes—proteases, lipases, amylases, and cellulases—each provide specific benefits for application in laundry and automatic dishwashing. Historically, proteases were first to be used extensively in laundry detergents. In addition to raising the level of cleaning, they have also provided environmental benefits by reducing energy consumption through shorter washing times, lower washing temperatures, and reduced water consumption. Today proteases are joined by lipases and amylases in improving detergent efficacy especially for household laundering at lower temperatures and, in industrial cleaning operations, at lower pH levels. Cellulases contribute to overall fabric care by rejuvenating or maintaining the new appearance of washed garments. Enzymes are produced by fermentation technologies that utilize renewable resources.

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Correspondence to Hans Sejr Olsen.

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Olsen, H.S., Falholt, P. The role of enzymes in modern detergency. J Surfact Deterg 1, 555–567 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11743-998-0058-7

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Key Words

  • Amylases
  • automatic dishwashing
  • cellulases
  • enzymes in detergents
  • industrial cleaning
  • laundry
  • lipases
  • proteases
  • storage stability
  • wash performance