a-Amylase 100g powder
from aspergillus oryzae
An amylase (/ˈæmɪleɪs/) is an enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of starch (Latin amylum) into sugars. Amylase is present in the saliva of humans and some other mammals, where it begins the chemical process of digestion. Foods that contain large amounts of starch but little sugar, such as rice and potatoes, may acquire a slightly sweet taste as they are chewed because amylase degrades some of their starch into sugar. The pancreas and salivary gland make amylase (alpha amylase) to hydrolyse dietary starch into disaccharides and trisaccharides which are converted by other enzymes to glucose to supply the body with energy. Plants and some bacteria also produce amylase. Specific amylase proteins are designated by different Greek letters. All amylases are glycoside hydrolases and act on α-1,4-glycosidic bonds.
The α-amylases (EC 126.96.36.199 ) (alternative names: 1,4-α-D-glucan glucanohydrolase; glycogenase) are calcium metalloenzymes. By acting at random locations along the starch chain, α-amylase breaks down long-chain saccharides, ultimately yielding either maltotriose and maltose from amylose, or maltose, glucose and “limit dextrin” from amylopectin. They belong to glycoside hydrolase family 13.
In human physiology, both the salivary and pancreatic amylases are α-amylases.
α- and β-amylases are important in brewing beer and liquor made from sugars derived from starch. During fermentation fermentation, yeast ingests sugars and excretes ethanol. In beer and some liquors, the sugars present at the beginning of fermentation have been produced by “mashing” grains or other starch sources (such as potatoes). Traditional beer brewing, malted barley is mixed with hot water to create a “mash“, which is held at a given temperature to allow the amylases in the malted grain to convert the barley’s starch into sugars. Different temperatures optimize the activity of alpha or beta amylase, resulting in different mixtures of fermentable and unfermentable sugars. In selecting mash temperature and grain-to-water ratio, a brewer can change the alcohol content, mouthfeel, aroma, and flavor of the finished beer.
In some historic methods of producing alcoholic beverages. The conversion of starch to sugar starts with the brewer chewing grain to mix it with saliva. This practice continues to be practiced in home production of some traditional drinks, such as chhaang in the Himalayas, chicha in the Andes and kasiri in Brazil and Suriname.
Amylases are used in breadmaking and to break down complex sugars, such as starch (found in flour), into simple sugars. Yeast then feeds on these simple sugars and converts it into the waste products of ethanol and carbon dioxide. This imparts flavour and causes the bread to rise. While amylases are found in yeast cells, it takes time for the yeast to produce enough of these enzymes to break down significant quantities in the bread. This is the reason for long fermented doughs such as sourdough. Modern breadmaking techniques have included amylases (often in the form of malted barley) into bread improver, thereby making the process faster and more practical for commercial use.[failed verification]
In molecular biology, the presence of amylase can serve as an additional method of selecting for successful integration of a reporter construct in addition to antibiotic resistance. As reporter genes are flanked by homologous regions of the structural gene for amylase, successful integration will disrupt the amylase gene and prevent starch degradation, which is easily detectable through iodine staining.
Amylase also has medical applications in the use of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). It is one of the components in Sollpura (liprotamase) to help in the breakdown of saccharides into simple sugars.
Bacilliary amylase is also used in clothing and dishwasher detergents to dissolve starches from fabrics and dishes.
Factory workers who work with amylase for any of the above uses are at increased risk of occupational asthma. Five to nine percent of bakers have a positive skin test. A fourth to a third of bakers with breathing problems are hypersensitive to amylase.