One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mixture of enzymes obtained from yeast which catalyze the breakdown of sugars in alcoholic fermentation.
- ‘The reaction is then carried out in presence of yeast, which contain two enzymes maltose and zymase.’
- ‘Even now the question remains open whether zymase can be added directly to the established list of enzymes.’
- ‘When alcohol is produced for human consumption, zymase - provided by yeast - is used as the catalyst.’
- ‘It was soon realized that the conversion of sugar into alcohol by means of yeast juice is a series of stepwise reactions, and that zymase is really a mixture of several enzymes.’
- ‘Harden explained this by saying that a high-molecular enzyme, the zymase proper, was left on the filter, which let through a low-molecular complementary enzyme, which for the sake of brevity was called co-enzyme or co-zymase.’
Late 19th century: from French, from Greek zumē ‘leaven’.
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