• Derived from: plants
  • Pronunciation: (\ˈprō-tē-ˌās\)
  • Type: Naturally-derived

What Is Protease?

Protease is a naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down protein and protein soils.[1] There are different kinds of proteases, and they occur in animals, plants, bacteria, and fungus.[2]

What Does Protease Do in Our products?

Protease is often used as a skin conditioner to remove dry skin flakes, which is why it can be found in personal care products such as facial cleanser or makeup remover, but it is also common in laundry detergents and presoak products because it helps remove protein stains.[3,4,5,6]

Why Puracy Uses Protease

We use protease because it makes things clean and is a good alternative to bleach. The FDA has deemed the ingredient generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in food.[9] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care and cleaning product quality standards.[10,11] Several studies also show that enzymes such as protease in detergents do not result in contact skin sensitization.[12,13,14,15]

How Protease Is Made

Protease occurs throughout the natural world, but extraction from plants and animals is the primary method of obtaining protease commercially; fermentation typically produces bacterial and fungal proteases.[7] Fermentation occurs by submerging enzyme-secreting microbes in a fermentation broth or via solid-state fermentation, which involves growing the microbes on a substrate. The microbes secrete the lipase, which is then purified and homogenized.[8]



[1] American Cleaning Institute
[2] De Souza PM, Bittencourt ML de A, Caprara CC, et al. A biotechnology perspective of fungal proteases. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology. 2015;46(2):337-346. doi:10.1590/S1517-838246220140359.
[3] American Cleaning Institute
[4] European Commission
[5] Environmental Working Group
[6] American Cleaning Institute
[7] American Society for Microbiology
[8] Sharma, R., Chisti, Y., Banerjee, U. "Production, purification, characterization, and applications of lipases." Biotechnology Advances 19 (2001) 627 – 662
[9] Food and Drug Administration
[10] Whole Foods Market
[11] Whole Foods Market
[12] Bannan, E.A., Griffith, J.F., Nusair, T.L. 1992. "Skin testing of laundered fabrics in the dermal safety assessment of enzyme-containing detergents." Journal of Toxicology—Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology 11 (4): 327–339
[13] Griffith, J.F., Weaver, J.E., Whitehouse, H.S., Poole, R.L., Newmann, E.A., and Nixon, G.A. 1969. "Safety evaluation of enzyme detergents: Oral and cutaneous toxicity, irritancy and skin sensitization studies." Food and Cosmetic Toxicology 7: 581–593
[14] Rodriguez, C., Calvin, G., Lally, C., and LaChapelle, J.M. 1994. "Skin effects associated with wearing fabrics washed with commercial laundry detergents." Journal of Toxicology—Cutaneous & Ocular Toxicology 13(1): 39–45
[15] Sarlo, K., Cormier, E., MacKenzie, D., and Scott, L. 1996. "Lack of Type 1 sensitization to laundry enzymes among consumers in the Philippines." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 97: 749–777

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