Enzymatic Digestion Of Algal Cells

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Report Number: AMRL TDR 62-91
Author(s): King, Maurice E., Shefner, Alan M.
Corporate Author(s): Armour Research Foundation
Laboratory: Biomedical Laboratory
Corporate Report Number: ARF 3193-5
Date of Publication: 1962-08
Pages: 13
Contract: AF 33(616)-7964
DoD Project: 7164
DoD Task: 716403
Identifier: AD0289023
AD Number: AD-289 023

Untreated algal cells are incompletely digested in man's alimentary canal. Therefore, various enzymes were investigated in an effort to develop an enzyme supplement that would increase the nutritive value of an algal ration. Such an enzyme additive would function by directly degrading the algal cells or by making the cells more susceptible to the action of the normal digestive enzymes. Enzymes were evaluated by in vitro digestion for 2 hours in artificial gastric juice followed by digestion for 4 hours in artificial intestinal juice. The commercial cellulases were not effective. Favorable results were obtained with enzyme systems derived from the snail Helix pomatia and the mold Myrothecium verrucaria. Pectinase was also effective, both alone and in combination with the snail and the mold enzymes. These results are consistent with the studies of Northcote and others on the composition of the algal cell wall.

Provenance: Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control

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