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Amylases

Amylases. A category of enzymes that are widely distributed in nature and belong to the general class of carbohydrases (q.v.) . They are of singular importance to baking as they degrade complex carbohydrates (q.v.), such as starch (q.v.) and its polysaccharide (q.v.) components, into fermentable sugars (q.v.). They are differentiated according to the particular starch (q.v.) component they act upon into ?-amylases and ?-amylases (q.v.), or, according to their source or origin into cereal, bacterial, and fungal amylases (q.v.). Amylases derived from different sources will vary in such characteristics as their molecular weight (q.v.), pH optimum (q.v.), activation energy, optimum temperature (q.v.), and heat stability.