Pepsin is an endopeptidase that assists in breaking down proteins into smaller peptides. Produced in the gastric chief cells of the stomach lining, this has been one of the main digestive enzymes in humans as well as many other animals, where it helps in digesting the proteins in food. Pepsin is an aspartic protease, utilizing a catalytic aspartate in its active site.
Pepsin is a powerful enzyme present in our gastric juices that digests proteins such as those in meat, eggs, seeds, or dairy products. Pepsin actually happens to be the matured, active form of zymogen (inactive protein) pepsinogen. It mainly is utilized for the unspecific hydrolysis of proteins and peptides in acidic media.
In leather industry, the unwanted traces of tissue, hair and other undesirable content is removed using pepsin. This enzymatic treatment is called “bating”. The process also de-swells and softens the hide, improving the quality of the leather.
in the food industry, Pepsin acts as a constituent of pancreatic curd that condenses and twists during the making of cheese. It is also used to modify the soybean protein and gelatin and helps provide whipping qualities. It also modifies plant protein used in non-dairy snacks and helps make pre-cooked cereals into instant hot cereals. Pepsin is also used for the preparation of animal and plant protein hydrolysates for seasoning food items and beverages.
In digestion, Pepsin acts as a principal enzyme that is involved in protein digestion. It breaks down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids that facilitate easy absorption in the small intestine. Some protein powders have pepsin blended with other enzymes to aid in the protein’s absorption.