Invertase is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis (breakdown) of sucrose (table sugar). Alternate names for invertase include EC220.127.116.11, saccharase, glucosucrase, beta-h-fructosidase, beta-fructosidase, invertin, sucrase, maxinvert L 1000, fructosylinvertase, alkaline invertase, acid invertase, and the systematic name: beta-fructofuranosidase. The resulting mixture of fructose and glucose is called inverted sugar syrup. Related to invertases are sucrases. Invertases and sucrases hydrolyze sucrose to give the same mixture of glucose and fructose. Invertases cleave the O-C(fructose) bond, whereas the sucrases cleave the O-C(glucose) bond.
For industrial use, invertase is usually derived from yeast. It is also synthesized by bees which use it to make honey from nectar. Optimum temperature at which the rate of reaction is at its greatest is 60°C and an optimum pH of 4.5. Typically, sugar is inverted with sulfuric acid.
Chocolate-covered cherries, other cordials, and fondant candies include invertase, which liquefies the sugar. Once the candy is manufactured, it needs at least a few days to a few weeks in storage so the invertase has time to break down the sucrose.