Xylanase is the name given to a class of enzyme
Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates...

s which degrade the linear polysaccharide
Polysaccharides are long carbohydrate molecules, of repeated monomer units joined together by glycosidic bonds. They range in structure from linear to highly branched. Polysaccharides are often quite heterogeneous, containing slight modifications of the repeating unit. Depending on the structure,...

 beta-1,4-xylan into xylose
Xylose is a sugar first isolated from wood, and named for it. Xylose is classified as a monosaccharide of the aldopentose type, which means that it contains five carbon atoms and includes an aldehyde functional group. It is the precursor to hemicellulose, one of the main constituents of biomass...

, thus breaking down hemicellulose
A hemicellulose is any of several heteropolymers , such as arabinoxylans, present along with cellulose in almost all plant cell walls. While cellulose is crystalline, strong, and resistant to hydrolysis, hemicellulose has a random, amorphous structure with little strength...

, one of the major components of plant cell walls.

As such, it plays a major role in micro-organisms thriving on plant sources (mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s, conversely, do not produce xylanase). Additionally, xylanases are present in fungi for the degradation of plant matter into usable nutrients.

Commercial applications for xylanase include the chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

-free bleaching of wood pulp
Bleaching of wood pulp
Bleaching of wood pulp is the chemical processing carried out on various types of wood pulp to decrease the color of the pulp, so that it becomes whiter. The main use of wood pulp is to make paper where whiteness is an important characteristic...

 prior to the papermaking
Papermaking is the process of making paper, a substance which is used universally today for writing and packaging.In papermaking a dilute suspension of fibres in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by...

 process, and the increased digestibility of silage
Silage is fermented, high-moisture fodder that can be fed to ruminants or used as a biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters. It is fermented and stored in a process called ensiling or silaging, and is usually made from grass crops, including corn , sorghum or other cereals, using the entire...

 (in this aspect, it is also used for fermentative composting
Anaerobic digestion
Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. It is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste and/or to release energy....

(Gulzar, Production and partial purification of Xylanase fromTrichoderma longibrachiatum. Published in international conference on biotechnology and neurosciences. CUSAT , 2004.P33).

Additionally, it is the key ingredient in the dough conditioner
Dough conditioner
A dough conditioner is any ingredient or chemical added to bread dough to strengthen its texture or otherwise improve it in some way.Examples of dough conditioners include ascorbic acid, monoglycerides and diglycerides, ammonium chloride, enzymes, DATEM, and calcium salts such as calcium...

s s500 and us500 manufactured by Puratos  .These enzymes are used to improve the dough's workability and absorption of water.

In the future, xylanase may be used for the production of biofuel
Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

from unusable plant material .
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