Development of enzymes to enhance laundry detergent product performance

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Natural Sciences & Env Sciences


The project aims to introduce new classes of enzymes in household cleaning products to improve the stain removal performance. Improving the stain removal performance of laundry and dishwashing detergents with enzymes will not only improve consumer satisfaction, but will also decrease the associated environmental burden. Enzymes can replace more toxic ingredients; reduce the need for clothes to be rewashed; and achieve high standards of cleaning using short, cold washing cycles. The project will focus on the development and the application of novel oxidoreductases and polysaccharide-degrading enzymes, which address substrates and stains not currently targeted by enzymes.
Current bleaching technology in laundry detergent is based on perborate and percarbonate, these technologies cannot be incorporated into liquid laundry detergent, do not work efficiently at low temperatures, and contribute to aquatic eutrophication. Oxidoreductase enzymes offer an enzymatic solution to bleaching stains. Carotenoid stains, such as tomato ketchup and spaghetti sauce, are high incidence stains that are still not well removed by today's current detergents. This project will identify and characterise novel carotenoid degrading enzymes that can efficiently bleach carotenoid stains.
Polysaccharides are naturally present in food and also used as additives in personal care and food products, they are sticky substances that increase soil adhesion to fabrics and ceramics. By determining the specific polysaccharides implicated in soil adhesion, enzymes that target these tough stains can be identified and applied to laundry detergents, leading to more efficient stain removal. The performance of these polysaccharide degrading enzymes will be followed by novel methodologies based on molecular probes.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512047/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
2127663 Studentship EP/R512047/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Claire Morley