The new system consists of two enzymatic products, Peltec X-Zyme S (for preparing the hide during soaking) and Peltec X-Zyme U (for unhairing).

According to Hombeck, the use of two microbial enzymes in the soaking and liming noticeably improves the quality of the pelt, reduces the amount of waste and makes the entire process much more efficient. The new, enzyme-based technology was developed in collaboration with Danish biotechnology specialists Novozymes, who also manufacture the two pure enzymes by means of bacterial fermentation.

Complete rehydration

Peltec X-Zyme S, which is used in the soak, is a glucosidase – ie a carbohydrate-splitting enzyme – with customised properties which include rapid opening-up and accelerated rehydration of the hide. This means that excellent soaking results can be obtained after just four to six hours. And as the enzyme has no proteolytic activity, the soaking process can be extended – eg overnight – without damaging the collagen.

Gentle unhairing

In the liming process, Peltec X-Zyme U, a specific protease with high selectivity for pre-keratin, is applied to remove the hair and the epidermis. This product primarily targets the basal membrane of the epidermis, thereby loosening the hair roots and preparing the subsequent unhairing. There is no need for reductive chemicals that are required in conventional hair-saving processes and yet Peltec X-Zyme U tackles the residual hair root problem. Further advantages of the new process are a lower effluent load and reduced need for chemicals.

The presentation was in both English and Mandarin and attracted a lot of interest from many tanners, particularly from China who attended to the two-hour presentation. To find out more about the X-Zyme beamhouse system click on the video clip below.