Importance of enzymes for our body
Without enzymes our body functions would be dangerously affected. They help our body cells to prepare for carrying out and speeding up chemical processes which are of the main importance for organism habits and functioning. Every organ in the body has ability to produce enzymes which are specific for its purpose.
Nutrition of any mammal on the world is consisted of milk. In order to digest this important nutrient, stomach cells produce enzyme known as rennin which function is to solidify milk and make it convenient for digestion process. Largest amounts of this enzyme are present in the organism of the young mammals, which production drops off gradually by every year. After the period of the youth enzyme called pepsin takes over the functions of rennin enzyme.
When it is produced, rennin is in form of inactive proennin. When milk reaches the stomach, hydrochloric acid from the gastric juice transforms proennin into active rennin enzyme. Under this circumstances milk is dissolved into two components: semi-solid substance and liquid whey. Semi-solid part of the dissolved milk is essentially important, for keeping the milk in the stomach as long time as it takes for milk proteins to be digested.
How does rennin enzyme curdles the milk?
Curdling of the milk is very complicated process of the stomach. Milk is consisted of caseinogen proteins and they have four different models of molecules: alpha-s1 casein, alpha s2 casein, beta casein and kappa casein (only one which doesn’t take part in making of calcium). In usual conditions, the kappa casein is responsible for preventing milk from coagulation.
Rennin enzyme, at normal human body temperature (37 degrees of celsius), deactivates the function of kappa casein, providing that way the curdling of the milk and easy digestion. At higher temperatures of the body, functionality of this enzyme is increased. But, too high temperature can result in breaking down the hydrogen of the enzyme and disconnection of the ionic bonds, which causes rennin to stop affecting caseinogens molecules, so that function of this enzyme is endangered.
Temperatures below 37 degrees of Celsius, also makes this enzyme not to function properly. Lower temperatures slow down the molecules movements, and therefore rate of reaction decreases. If temperature is around 0 degree of Celsius, every movement of the molecules will stop immediately.
Because of its important characteristic in curdling milk, this enzyme is used in industry for making cheese and other solid dairy products.