Enzyme Usage


Serving different industries

Novozymes sells a complex portfolio of nearly 600 enzyme products. Each year, about 15 new products are launched on the market – either completely new types of enzyme or existing enzymes adapted for new applications. Managing this portfolio is the job of the specialists in Marketing Operations, part of Enzyme Business Operations.

There are two Strategy Groups: one for the detergent, textile and starch processing industries and another for the food and feed industries. These two groups decide on launch platforms, positioning of products, pricing policy and the level of technical and promotional support.

The main industries where enzymes are used are as follows:


The main application of enzymes is in heavy-duty detergents for household laundry. In addition, many automatic dishwashing detergents (ADDs) have been reformulated in recent years and enzymes have been incorporated to make the new products more effective. The majority of enzymes used in laundry detergents are proteases for removing protein stains. They are often used in combination with amylases for removing starch. Both types of enzyme are also suitable for ADDs.

In 1988, Novozymes introduced Lipolase®, the first commercial enzyme capable of breaking down fats. Apart from stain removal, enzymes can perform other functions. For example, Celluzyme® can be used to brighten and soften fabrics containing cotton.



The textile industry is another major market for Novozymes’s enzymes. Novozymes was a pioneer in introducing cellulases in the industry and transformed the traditional processes for the stonewashing of jeans and removal of fuzz – the small fibre ends that protrude from fabric. The desizing of fabric using amylases is a traditional enzyme application that has also developed well.


Starch & Sugar

Starch processing is one of the oldest areas for the application of enzymes. For instance, high fructose corn syrups (HFCSs) are made using enzymes. They act as a substitute for ordinary sugar in food and beverage processing. In the USA, the biggest user of HFCSs is the soft drinks industry. Novozymes’s future work in starch processing will focus on optimizing processes by developing improved enzymes.


Animal feed

This is a large industry characterized by rapid growth in the use of enzymes, which are now accepted as a standard ingredient in many parts of the world. Novozymes offers a range of enzymes specially designed for degrading different feed components in order to improve the digestibility of nutrients.


Alcohol / Baking / Brewing / Wine & Juice

Over the years, Novozymes has built up considerable expertise in enzymes for the alcohol, baking, brewing, juice, wine and olive oil industries. The subsidiary Novozymes Ferment in Switzerland is the base for Enzyme Business Operations in these industries. Two notable successes in the baking industry are the antistaling enzyme Novamyl® and the introduction of baking granulates (BG) to replace enzymes in powder form.


Food functionality

This area at Novozymes covers protein and pet food applications. In 1994, Novozymes introduced Flavourzyme™, a unique enzyme for the production of non-bitter protein hydrolysates. Flavourzyme and other interesting proteases make protein applications in the food industry an area of immense potential. For example, the use of enzymes in soya sauce processing and meat processing is being pioneered by Novozymes.


Pulp & Paper / Leather / Oils & Fats

Though relatively small today in terms of enzyme sales, there are a number of other industries with significant potential. One example is the pulp and paper industry where enzymes can be used in the bleaching of pulp or in the deinking of waste paper for recycling. In recent years, Novozymes has also developed some unique new enzymes for the leather industry apart from the traditional bating enzymes. Oils and fats are another interesting area.