Enzymology: History of
In 1833, the French biologists A. Payen (1795–1871) and J. F. Persoz (1805–1868) isolated a malt-soluble ferment able to digest the amide and called it diastase. In 1878, the German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne (1837–1900) named the contents of this digestive juice as enzyme. During the second part of the nineteenth century, there was an active debate between Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) and Justus Freiherr von Liebig (1803–1873) about the cause of fermentation. Pasteur argued that fermentation is a process of microscopic living entities, like yeast, and Liebig argued that fermentation is a spontaneous decomposition of matter.
In 1897, the German chemistry Edüard Buchner (1860–1917) made an in vitro fermentation of sugars in an acellular fraction of yeast. Some authors said that this result probably constituted the beginning of biochemistry science. A few years later, in 1903, the French-Russian physical chemist Victor Henry (1872–1940) stated that all enzymes are proteins.