Laundry Detergent

How did genetic engineering get mixed up in laundry detergent? Genencor, a large manufacturer, does a lot of research on ways to use genetic engineering to replicate natural processes, then put those processes to work in products. Laundry detergent is one of their products that utilizes genetic engineering.

  • Some bacteria produce enzymes that make great cleaning agents.
  • The genes that control the production of those enzymes can be spliced into a host organism that is easily grown in industrial-size batches.
  • Once these organisms have the new gene in place, they begin producing the desired enzyme.
  • These enzymes are more effective and less harsh on the environment than phosphates, their chemical counterparts in laundry detergent
  • The genetically engineered enzymes replace the harsh chemical phosphates in the detergent.

Explore More: Genetic Engineering
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
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