Plant Proteases in Food Processing

  • Manzoor Ahmad ShahEmail author
  • Shabir Ahmad Mir
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Proteases are enzymes that hydrolyze protein molecules into peptides and amino acids. Proteases are the most commercially important enzymes because of their multiple applications in food and other industries. In recent decades, interest in plant proteases has been increased rapidly. The number of industrially employed enzymes of plant origin is still small but growing fast. Plants are an important source of proteases as plants require proteases throughout their life cycle. These are present in all kinds of plant tissues and, thus, can be extracted from their natural sources or can be prepared using in vitro techniques. Plant proteases can be extracted from natural sources by aqueous maceration of various plant organs. The crude extract thus obtained may be further purified to obtain a pure enzyme. Production of plant proteases by in vitro techniques leads to higher enzyme yields and minimizes the extraction procedures used in extraction from natural sources; these techniques reduce the effects of climate and seasonal changes and also the heterogeneity of enzymes produced from different parts of plant. Plant proteases have the ability to coagulate milk proteins and thus have been utilized as milk clotting enzymes in cheesemaking for centuries. These proteases are used as crude or in purified form; they are a substitute to the calf rennet. They are used for making different varieties of cheese in Mediterranean, West African, and southern European countries. Proteases extracted from different plant sources have been widely used in meat tenderization, in bioactive peptide production from both the plant and animal sources, and in flour/dough modification in baking industry.


Plant protease Papain Bromelain Ficin Actinidin Zingibain Cardosins Cheese Milk clotting enzyme Meat tenderization Bioactive peptide Dough modification 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  2. 2.Department of Food TechnologyIslamic University of Science and TechnologyAwantiporaIndia

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