Enzymatic coagulation of milk by immobilized proteases, and their potential application to cheese manufacture, is reviewed. Particular emphasis is given to the immobilized protease catalyst and to the reactor design for coagulation of milk. Pepsin and chymotrypsin retained more activity and greater stability than the other immobilized proteolytic enzymes. Porous glass beads, several anion exchange resins, and the copolymer ethylene-maleic anhydride gave best results among the support materials that were evaluated. Covalent attachment of enzyme to support is preferable to adsorption techniques but may be too costly. Perhaps the best catalyst is one using a lengthy procedure for covalent immobilization of enzyme on glass beads but good results were also obtained with simpler adsorption techniques. Catalysts varied greatly in initial activity but all lost activity upon exposure to milk. Stirred tank, packed bed, and fluidized bed reactor designs were used. Continued research is required to make enzymic milk coagulation with immobilized proteases economically feasible.

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