What is the substrate for amylase

AmylasesEnzymesDigestive Enzymes Amylases are a group of enzymes that break down polysaccharides such as starch and glycogen into smaller components. The products can be oligosaccharides, trisaccharides, disaccharides and glucose depending on the enzyme. Amylases occur in humans in saliva and in the exocrine secretion of the pancreas. As a medicine, they are used for digestive complaints and an underactive pancreas. In food technology, they play an important role in the production of bread and alcoholic beverages, among other things.

synonymous: amylasum, diastases, E 1100


For example, amylases are available in capsule form along with other digestive enzymes. They are often found in industrially produced bread and pastries. The name of the enzymes is from Amylum (Starch) derived from its substrate.

Structure and properties

Amylases are natural enzymes that hydrolytically split glycosidic bonds. They belong to the hydrolases. They occur in humans, animals, plants (e.g. in grain) and in microorganisms. For industrial use they are usually made from mushrooms like Aspergillus oryzae or obtained from bacteria.

Amylases, along with other digestive enzymes, are contained in pancreatin (pancreas powder), which is obtained from the fresh or frozen pancreas of mammals, e.g. pigs or cattle.

Humans produce amylases in the salivary glands and pancreas. So they are active in the mouth and in the small intestine.


The α-amylases cleave the α-1,4-glycosidic bond at random points in the starch and in the glycogen. This creates dextrins, larger oligosaccharides, the trisaccharide maltotriose and the disaccharide maltose.

The β-amylases also hydrolyze the α-1,4-glycosidic bond. They do not cut randomly, but instead replace the disaccharide maltose (glucose-glucose).

γ-amylases split off individual glucose molecules.

Amylases are used to make bread because they break down the starch into smaller carbohydrates, which serve as substrates for the yeast. The yeast makes carbon dioxide and ethanol from the sugars. This will make the dough rise.

Amylases are involved in the ripening process of fruits and ensure that they acquire a sweet taste.

Hydrolysis of a glycosidic bond of a starch by a β-amylase, click to enlarge. Illustration © PharmaWiki

application areas


  • As a component of pancreatin, amylases are approved for the treatment of digestive complaints, e.g. with bloating and flatulence, as well as in the case of an underactive pancreas.


  • Amylases are used in the food industry, among other things for the production of bread.
  • For the production of alcoholic beverages, for example for brewing beer.
  • For the production of starch products, e.g. glucose syrup and maltose.
see also

Pancreatin, starch, glucose, maltose, glucose syrup

  • Medicinal product information (CH)
  • Specialist literature
  • Encyclopedias of food technology

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

Support PharmaWiki with a donation!

© PharmaWiki 2007-2021 - PharmaWiki provides independent and reliable information about medication and health.
This article was last changed on 10/21/2020.
Imprint and data protection declaration
Show products for this page