Amylases provide easier digestion of starches as they are “pre-digested” when amylase is added to various foods.
The addition of Amylase increases the starch luminal digestion in animal feed.
Amylases also improves the conversion of complex sugars to simple sugars in baked goods and bread.
Food and Beverage:
Amylase enzymes play an important role in the fermentation process, which produces beer, liquors and yeast. Alpha and Beta amylases are particularly crucial in this production, as they work at optimal fermentation temperatures to cleave glycosidic bonds.
Amylase enzymes are also used as flour additives in bread-making and to break down various sugar complexes. By breaking down these bonds, yeast can feed on the sugar monomers that result, and convert it to the waste products alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Amylases, particularly the Alpha Amylases, are used in plant-based animal feed additives, as they increase the breakdown of starches.
Amylases are used in washing and cleaning agents, as starch-based soil is broken down and removed by these enzymes.
Amylase is a naturally occurring enzyme in the body that assists in the hydrolysis of starch into sugars. Produced by the pancreas and salivary gland, It is present in saliva as it begins the breakdown of food in the oral cavity.
There are three types of amylases, namely α-Amylase, β-Amylase and y-Amylase. α-Amylases are calcium metalloenzymes, as they rely on the presence of calcium to function. If calcium is present, then α-Amylase breaks down long-chain carbohydrates (starches) that yield maltose and maltotriose. α-Amylase is also a faster acting enzyme than β-Amylase.
β-Amylases are synthesized by various bacteria, plants and fungi and are responsible for cleaving the α-1,4 glycosidic bonds. As fruits ripen, β-Amylases also break starches into maltose, resulting in their sweet flavour.
y-Amylases work at the most acidic pH’s of all the amylases, and cleave α-1,6 glycosidic bonds and the α-1,4 glycosidic bonds of amylopectin.
The hydrolysis of starch by saliva was first noted by Erhard Friedrich Leuchs in 1831, due to the enzyme called ptyalin, an amylase. French chemists Anselme Payen and Jean-Francois Persoz were the first to isolate an amylase from barley in 1833. In 1862, Alexander Jakulowitsch Danilewsky isolated pancreatic amylase from the compound trypsin.