Definition of zymase in US English:



  • A mixture of enzymes obtained from yeast which catalyze the breakdown of sugars in alcoholic fermentation.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The reaction is then carried out in presence of yeast, which contain two enzymes maltose and zymase.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even now the question remains open whether zymase can be added directly to the established list of enzymes.’


Late 19th century: from French, from Greek zumē ‘leaven’.