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Fermentative catalysis
 

Ferments are proteins that are synthesized by the cells. They function as catalysts of chemical reactions. Without fermentative catalysts, reactions in the cells would have been too slow and the cells would not be able to stay alive (ferments increase the speed of biological reaction by billions and even trillions of times.) The impact on the speed of reaction occurs through changing the energy of activation during which the reaction can occur. The ferments are not used up during reactions, and they do not impact the qualities of the end products of reactions. Their activity is dependent on pH, temperature, and pressure at the location of reaction as well as other factors.

The special shape of the ferment's active center explains the high specificity of the ferment, which is exactly complementary to the molecule of the substrate (the substance which the ferment reacts with.) When the active center occupies the reacting substances, they move close together, which explains the tremendous increase in speed of the ensuing reaction. Chemical bonds between the substrate and the active center of the ferment form, and that steers the reaction along the path of least resistance. In addition to that, the molecule of the ferment is exceedingly flexible, and it allows the active center to assume different makeup at each stage of reaction, thus making it possible to attain maximal speed at each given stage.

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