Bast fibres value enhancement through application of enzymes

Enzymes as natural retting agents have title role in field dew-retting process of bast plants like hemp and flax. Recent studies, laboratory and pilot trials show that enzymatically activated processing of hemp and flax is able to improve or replace traditional procedures of bast plant processing improving reproducibility, fibres yield and quality. Enzymes are able to reduce amount of non-cellulosic binding layers in hemp and flax technical fibres and therefore facilitate bast fibres separation and elementarization. Several special enzymatic agents for bast fibres elementarization Texazym BFE, Texazym SER-3 or Texazym SCW have been developed by Inotex Ltd. and tested for flax and hemp fibres separation. Two opportunities of enzymes applications are presented. At first comparison of dew retted and unretted hemp decortication together with follow-up fibres separation with enzymatic pretreatment versus without any pretreatment are discussed.