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There is not just one enzyme in laundry detergent today. Actually, quite alot of effort goes into developing enzymes that are appropriate for laundry.

Back in the 1970's when the first enzyme was added, it was a type of enzyme called a protease. Proteases work to degrade protein molecules. Because most hard to remove stains are biological in nature, enzymes are a natural avenue to pursue in stain removal. Today, enzymes that fit in the classes of amlyases (degrades starch), lipases (degrades lipids), and enzymes that increase the rate of perhydrolysis are added to laundry.

Recently, with pressure for cleaning companies to go green, enzymatic cleaning solutions have show increased importance in the marketplace. Enzymes are considered "greener" than many surfactants because enzymes are of natural origins and consequently are believed to biodegrade. Many of the surfactants added to cleaning products are derived from petroleum and consequently viewed as environentally unfriendly.

However, with the increase in enzyme usage. Allergic reactions to proteases have been seen. Currently, many enzyme companies are focusing their development efforts on making enzymes with diminished allergenic response. Two companies with strong footholds in enzymatic research and development are Genecor and Novozyme.

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15y ago
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14y ago

Yes enzymes are use in all washing up liquid this enzyme is called lipases

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Q: Are enzymes used in washing up liquid?
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