Research Highlight

Peanut enzyme helps make starch-processing catalyst

doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.111 Published online 25 August 2017

© S. Priyadarshini

Using a peanut enzyme, researchers have synthesized a nanobiocatalyst that could be used to process starch and other food products1.  

Enzymes such as beta amylase are used for food production and extending shelf-life of certain food lines. However, such enzymes are expensive to produce and unstable.

To make a cheap and efficient way to utilize beta amylase, scientists led by Arvind M. Kayastha from the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, isolated beta amylase enzyme from peanut seeds and then attached it to the surface of molybdenum sulfide nanosheets, yielding the nanocatalyst.

The researchers then explored the efficiency of the catalyst in degrading starch. The catalyst retained 80% of its original activity after being used for 10 times. It retained 83% of its original catalytic efficiency even after storage at 4 °C for a period of 50 days.

It also showed stability under different pH levels and temperature ranges. “These properties make the catalyst suitable for use in food and pharmaceutical industries,” says Kayastha. 



1. Das, R. et al. Covalent immobilization of beta-amylase onto functionalized molybdenum sulfide nanosheets, its kinetics and stability studies: a gateway to boost enzyme application. Chem. Eng. J. 328, 215-227 (2017)