Amylases are hydrolyzing enzymes which degrade the starch to form diverse products including dextrins, and progressively smaller polymers composed of glucose units. Amylases can be divided into two categories, endoamylases and exoamylases.

1. Endoamylases are catalyzed the hydrolysis in interior of the starch molecule producing linear and branched oligosaccharides.
2. Exoamylases act at the non-reducing end successively lead to form dextrin.

Amylases are class of industrial enzymes having approximately 25% of the enzyme market and used in gelatinization (100-110°C) and liquefaction (80-90°C) to economize processes as thermostable enzymes used in starch industry. The spectrum of amylase application has widened in clinical, medical, and analytical industries including starch sacccharification as well as in the textile, food, fermentation, paper, brewing and distilling industries. The genus Bacillus produces a large variety of thermostable extracellular amylases. Amylases are used extensively in bread making to break down complex sugars such as flour starch into simple sugars. This imparts pleasant appearance and flavor of bread. While Amylase enzymes are found naturally in yeast cells which make the sour which also called long fermented doughs. Even though, modern bread making techniques need amylases (malted barley) into bread improver thereby making the bread making process faster and more practical for commercial use. Amylase produced from bacillus spp. is also used in detergents to dissolve starches from strained fabrics. Blood serum amylase (21-101 U/L) may be measured for purposes of medical diagnosis for proper function of pancreas. A higher than its normal concentration may reflect one of several medical conditions such as acute inflammation of the pancreas, perforatedpeptic ulcer and mumps. Amylase may be measured in other body fluids such as saliva, urine and peritoneal fluid. Maltose is widely used as sweetener and used in food industries because of low tendency for crystallization. Corn, potato, sweet potato, and cassava starches are used for its maltose manufacture. Thermostable alpha amylase from B. licheniformis and B. amyloliquefaciens are used to produce high fructose containing syrups along with enzymic isomerization of glucose with glucose isomerase. Oligosaccharides mixture (maltooligomer mix) is obtained by digestion of corn starch with a-amylase, b-amylase and pullulanase too. Malto-oligomer mix is a new commercial product and used as a moisture regulator for food preservation.

Maltooligomer mix tastes less sweet that sucrose and hygroscopic in nature as well. Starch paste is applied for warping in textile weaving which gives strength to the weaving textile. After weaving the cloth, the starch is removed by application of alpha amylase.

About Author / Additional Info:
Dr. Kirti Rani Sharma,
Assistant Professor (II),
Amity Institute of Biotechnology,
Amity University, sec-125, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Noida-201303 (UP), India.
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