Theodor Schwann German Physiologist- Discoverer of Schwann Cells and Pepsin Enzyme

Theodor Schwann – discoverer of pepsin enzyme

Theodor Schwann

Biography & contributions

Theodor Schwann was born on December 07, 1810

Schwann was a German physiologist

He developed cell theory

Schwann discovered Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system.

Discovered pepsin enzyme

Discovered organic nature of yeast

He invented the term metabolism


Facts about pepsin enzyme

Pepsin is a key ingredient for a healthy digestive process.

Its effectiveness in breaking down food in the stomach relies on a precise system of environmental controls preserving optimal pH levels.

Pepsin breaks down proteins into polypeptides inside the stomach. These polypeptides will break down further into amino acids, dipeptides, and tripeptides inside the small intestine.

Commercial pepsin is extracted from the glandular layer of hog stomachs.


Pepsin reaction mechanism

Pepsin is secreted in an inactive form (pepsinogen) in the digestive system

The inactive form, pepsinogen, needs a low pH environment in order to convert to pepsin.

Once pepsinogen reaches the stomach, where hydrochloric acid keeps the pH in the 1 to 3 range, it not only becomes pepsin but also triggers the formation of more pepsin.



Pepsin is used to modify and provide whipping qualities soy protein and gelatin

Pepsin can be applied to modify vegetable proteins which are used in the preparation of nondairy snack items.

It is used in the conversion of precooked cereals into instant hot cereals

Pepsin used to prepare animal and vegetable protein hydrolysates.

Pepsin is used in the leather industry to remove hair and residual tissue from hides.

Pepsin is used in the recovery of silver from discarded photographic films.

Pepsin is commonly used in the preparation of F(ab')2 fragments from antibodies.


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