Amylase (/ˈæmɪleɪz/) 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.
1: Barley Barley (Hordeum vulgare. L) is a monocotyledonous cereal belonging to the genus Hordeum, the tribe Triticeae (Briggs, 1978) and is a member of the grass, Gramineae, family. In terms of global production, barley ranks as the fourth major cereal crop (after wheat, maize and rice) with over 133.85 million tonnes being produced annually worldwide (USDA, 2008).