In this al.com video, HudsonAlpha Education Specialist Dasi Price conducts a science experiment, using applesauce, to illustrate the role of enzymes.

Enzymes are protein catalysts that change or alter the speed of chemical reactions by lowering the energy needed to start the reaction.

“Enzymes are what we call in the biotechnology community, the workhorses,” said Price.“The research that goes on here at HudsonAlpha often uses enzymes in the laboratory.”

This experiment uses a variety of enzymes ─ made from everyday, household and grocery store items ─ to produce apple juice from applesauce. The goal is to see which enzymes produce the most apple juice. The following enzymes are readily available in the laboratories at HudsonAlpha but can also be found in your home or grocery store:

  • Protease – found in meat tenderizer
  • Pectinase – found at your local wine making store
  • Cellulase – found at your local health food store or places like Earth Fare

After about 20 minutes, if the enzymes did their job, you should have a liquid product, or apple juice, from the filtered applesauce.

“This is really quick, really easy and it’s fun!” said Price. “You’re doing the same type of science that goes on in the laboratory here at HudsonAlpha.”

And remember, don’t eat the science!

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