Pepsin is a proteolytic and digestive enzyme specifically, a protease manufactured in the stomach. Enzymes are made up of proteins, that catalyze biochemical reactions. Pepsin forms in the acidic environment, after it leaves cells, or the stomach itself would come under attack.
Pepsin derived from various sources is available as a commercial product. Diverse industrial uses take advantage of the intense biochemical digestive action of pepsin.
Pepsin splits proteins into water-soluble fragments called peptones. Although this ordinarily occurs in the stomach, it can be duplicated in a large reaction vessel on a commercial purpose. Partial digestion by pepsin can be used in food applications, for instance, in the processing of proteins and gelatin. Pepsin has been used as a substitute for rennin in the production of the cheese.
Pepsin is used by the leather industry to remove undesirable traces of remaining tissue, such as hair and fat, from partially processed hides. This enzymatic treatment is called “bating” the hides. The process also dwells and softens the hides, improving leather quality.