Enzymes play a crucial role in various industries, including the food industry. One such enzyme that has gained significant attention is invertase. Invertase, also known as beta-fructofuranosidase, is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose into its constituent monosaccharides – glucose and fructose. This process is called inversion and gives invertase its name.
The versatility of invertase makes it an invaluable tool in the food industry. It finds applications in various products ranging from confectionery to beverages and baked goods.
One of the primary uses of invertase is in candy making. Invert sugar syrup, which contains equal parts glucose and fructose, has unique properties that enhance flavor and texture in candies like fondants, caramels, and fudges. By adding invertase to these recipes, manufacturers can achieve a smoother texture with reduced crystallization while enhancing sweetness.
Another application of invertase lies in bakery products like breads and pastries. The addition of this enzyme helps improve dough fermentation by breaking down sucrose into simpler invertase enzyme sugars readily available for yeast metabolism. This results in better volume development during baking while imparting a desirable softness to the final product.
Invert sugar syrup produced using invertase also serves as an excellent humectant due to its ability to retain moisture effectively. As a result, it finds use as a sweetener or ingredient enhancer in numerous food products such as ice creams, sorbets, jams/jellies/marmalades/preserves/spreads/sauces/dressings/toppings/fillings/glazes/compotes/chutneys/relishes/pickles/curds/coulis/butters/honeys/syrups/gelatin desserts/yogurts/smoothies/shakes/beverages, and even alcoholic beverages like beers and liqueurs.
Invertase also plays a crucial role in the production of honey. Bees naturally produce invertase to convert nectar’s sucrose into glucose and fructose, making it easier for them to digest. By adding commercial invertase during honey processing, manufacturers can mimic this natural process, resulting in a more stable product with improved taste and texture.