What Are Novozymes Used For?

Novozymes are a specific type of enzyme made by the company Novozymes A/S. Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts to accelerate chemical reactions. As biological catalysts, Novozymes can break down substances or build new substances faster and more efficiently, while remaining stable and reusable.

Novozymes has a broad range of industrial and consumer applications. They are used in the production of food, beverages, textiles, animal feed, biofuels, household products, pulp and paper, agriculture, and other industries. Novozymes help make processes more efficient, reduce waste, generate higher yields, and create cleaner and greener solutions for manufacturers as well as consumers.

Use in Food Production

Novozymes play a major role in food production across several industries. Some of their most common applications in food processing include:

Bread Making

Novozymes produce enzymes like amylases, xylanases, and oxidases that are used to improve the baking process. These enzymes help strengthen gluten, improve dough handling, and increase oven spring. This results in better quality bread with improved texture and shelf life.

Cheese Making

Enzymes like proteases, lipases, and phospholipases are used in cheese production. They help curdle the milk, ripen and flavor the cheese, and improve yields. Using enzymes leads to more consistent results and allows cheese makers to customize flavors.


Novozymes provide amylases, glucanases, and xylanases to brewers. These break down starch and fiber in the mash, improving extract yield. Other enzymes help with clarification and filtration. Overall, enzymes lead to better fermentability, stability, and taste.

Other Food Processing

Many other food industries utilize Novozymes enzymes. In juices, they improve yield, clarity, and stability. In oils and fats, they optimize extraction and refining. In meats, they tenderize and improve texture. And in dietary supplements, they enable digestion of nutrients. Enzymes play a key role in achieving quality and efficiency across food production.

Use in Textiles

Novozymes plays an important role in textile manufacturing, particularly in the production of denim and other cotton fabrics. The enzymes help improve the look, feel, and quality of the final textile products.

For denim finishing, amylases, cellulases, and laccases from Novozymes are used to create the faded, worn-in look that consumers want for their jeans. These enzymes remove indigo dye from the surface of the denim to give it a softer, more broken-in appearance. They also help prevent loose fibers and pilling.

enzymes breaking down fibers in the textile manufacturing process

In cotton softening, pectinases are applied to break down pectin in the cotton fibers. This helps remove impurities and reduce stiffness. Xylanases can also be used to remove fuzzy cotton fibers for a smoother surface. The enzymes give the cotton fabric a much softer handfeel after washing.

By using Novozymes enzymes for denim finishing and cotton softening, textile manufacturers can efficiently achieve the desired aesthetic properties of denim jeans and other cotton goods in an eco-friendly manner.

Use in Animal Feed

Novozymes are commonly added to animal feed to enhance the nutritional value and improve the feed conversion ratio. Feed enzymes like phytases help break down phytate, making phosphorus more available to the animal. Other enzymes like xylanases and cellulases increase digestibility of fiber and release trapped nutrients. This improves the feed conversion ratio, meaning the animal needs less feed to gain weight.

Specifically, phytases increase available phosphorus levels in feed, reducing the need for supplemental inorganic phosphorus. This benefits the environment since excess phosphorus from manure can pollute waterways. Studies show phytases can increase weight gain in pigs and chickens by 3-5%.

Xylanases break down indigestible components of grains like arabinoxylans, improving energy utilization. Proteases break down proteins into amino acids for better absorption. Together, these enzymes improve feed conversion 2-7% in chickens, pigs, and ruminants.

Overall, feed enzymes make animal digestion more efficient and enhance the nutritional value of feed. This lowers feed costs, improves animal growth rates, and reduces environmental impact.

Use in Biofuels

Novozymes enzymes are used extensively in biofuel production. Their enzymes help make the process of producing biofuels from renewable plant materials more efficient and cost-effective.

In corn ethanol production, Novozymes enzymes break down cornstarch into simple sugars that can then be fermented and distilled into ethanol fuel. The company produces alpha-amylase, glucoamylase, and pullulanase enzymes that are critical for the corn ethanol process. Using these enzymes increases ethanol yields while reducing energy use and wastewater pollution.

For cellulosic ethanol production from agricultural residues, grasses, and wood, Novozymes enzymes help unlock the sugars contained in lignocellulose. Their cellulase enzymes break down cellulose while their hemicellulase enzymes break down hemicellulose, two main components of plant cell walls. This enables conversion of cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars for ethanol production. Novozymes is continuously researching and developing better enzymes to reduce costs and improve efficiency in cellulosic ethanol.

Overall, Novozymes enzymes enable more environmentally-friendly and cost-competitive production of biofuels from renewable feedstocks like corn, sugarcane bagasse, wood chips and agricultural waste.

Use in Household Products

Novozymes are utilized extensively in household cleaning and laundry products to make them more effective and environmentally friendly. The addition of Novozymes enzymes to detergents and other cleaning agents allows them to work at lower temperatures while still removing stains, dirt, and grease. This results in energy savings and reduced carbon emissions from washing clothes and dishes.

Key applications of Novozymes in household products include:

  • Laundry detergents – Enzymes break down protein, starch, and fat residues allowing detergents to clean at cooler temperatures.
  • Dishwashing detergents – Novozymes help remove food residues from dishes while protecting glassware from etching and fading colors.
  • Automatic dishwashing – Enzymes degrade leftover starches and proteins, preventing buildup and spots on dishes.
  • Surface cleaners – Grease-cutting enzymes help remove grime and dirt from household surfaces.
  • Drain cleaners – Novozymes digest organic buildup causing clogged drains.
  • Carpet cleaners – Enzymes digest proteins that bind dirt and stains to carpet fibers.

Overall, Novozymes enable effective cleaning performance at lower temperatures which reduces energy consumption in households. Their addition to cleaning products makes them more environmentally sustainable.

Use in Pulp and Paper

Novozymes enzymes are widely used in the pulp and paper industry to improve efficiency and sustainability of paper production. The key applications are in bleaching, deinking, and improving pulp yield.

Bleaching is an important step in paper production to remove lignin and brighten the pulp. Novozymes offers bleach boosting enzymes that enhance the bleaching chemicals, reducing costs while improving brightness. These enzymes break down lignin residues more effectively.

In paper recycling, Novozymes provides deinking enzymes such as cellulases that remove ink from used paper by degrading cellulose fibers that trap ink particles. This improves the recycling process, allowing more reused fibers and less use of chemicals.

To increase pulp yield, Novozymes offers fiber modification enzymes that make the pulp fibers more flexible and fibrillate more easily. This makes the pulping process more efficient, resulting in higher pulp yield using the same amount of wood. Improved yield means less raw material wasted.

Use in Agriculture

Novozymes are widely used in agricultural applications to increase crop yields and reduce environmental impact. Two major agricultural uses are seed treatment and fertilizers.

Seed Treatment

Novozymes produces enzyme coatings that are applied to seeds before planting. These seed coatings contain beneficial microbes like fungi and bacteria that protect seeds and promote growth. When seeds are treated with Novozymes coatings, the enzymes enhance germination, strengthen root systems, and increase absorption of nutrients and water. This leads to higher crop yields. The coatings also protect plants against disease and extreme weather conditions.


Enzymes are added to fertilizers to boost their efficiency. The enzymes break down nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the soil, making them more readily available for plant uptake. This allows farmers to use less fertilizer while still providing plants sufficient nutrition. Novozymes enzymes also solubilize bound minerals in the soil, further enhancing fertility. Overall, adding Novozymes to fertilizers increases yields while reducing environmental impacts.

Other Industrial Uses

Novozymes enzymes are also widely used in other industries beyond food, textiles, and household products. Two major industrial applications are in leather production and chemical synthesis.

In leather production, enzymes like proteases break down proteins in animal hides during the soaking, dehairing, and bating steps. This makes the leather softer and more pliable. Using enzymes decreases the amount of harsh chemicals needed in leather production, resulting in less pollution.

For chemical synthesis, Novozymes provides enzymes that can produce certain chemicals more efficiently and sustainably than conventional methods. These biocatalysts can improve yields, reduce waste, and enable synthesis of chemicals that are otherwise difficult to produce. Examples include enzymes for synthesizing pharmaceutical ingredients, plastics, solvents, and other industrial chemicals.

The specificity and efficiency of Novozymes enzymes make them ideal for optimizing many manufacturing processes beyond food and detergents. Their applications help reduce environmental impacts across many industries.

Environmental Benefits of Novozymes

Novozymes provides significant environmental benefits compared to traditional chemical processes. The enzymes enable more sustainable production methods across many industries.

The enzymes themselves are biodegradable, breaking down naturally over time without negative impacts. This is a major advantage over synthetic chemicals that can persist in the environment.

By optimizing industrial processes, Novozymes enzymes reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste. For example, enzymes allow lower temperature washing cycles, reducing energy use in laundry detergents. In biofuels, enzymes enable higher yields and less waste biomass.

Novozymes also helps reduce pollution. The enzymes replace chemicals that would otherwise end up released into the air, water and soil. This protects ecosystems and human health.

Overall, Novozymes’ natural protein-based enzymes are a much more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional chemical-intensive industrial processes across a wide range of applications.

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