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Amylase is an enzyme that helps to digest starch into maltose

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Introduction

Introduction Amylase is an enzyme that helps to digest starch into maltose. Enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions. They are grouped into three categories, Carbohydrases, Proteases, and Lipases. Carbohydrases include Amylase, which helps to digest starch, Lactase, which helps to digest Lactose, Sucrase, which helps to digest Sucrose, and Maltase, which helps to digest Maltose. Proteases include Pepsin and Trypsin, which help to digest proteins, and Chymotrypsin, which help to digest Polypeptides. Finally Lipases consists of Intestinal Lipase, which helps to digest some fats. Without them, bodily digestion would be too slow, and we would eventually starve to death. However, as all enzymes, amylase requires strict conditions for it to operate properly, such as temperature, concentration, and pH. I will try to find out what is the optimum temperature at which amylase functions most effectively. Prediction and hypothesis From the book "Key Science" by D. Applin, published by Stanley Thornes publishers 1997, I know that the optimum temperature for the function of amylase is about 37�C. This is because as the temperature of the reaction increases the rate at which the amylase and the starch substrate collide (faster Brownian motion). ...read more.

Middle

Place both test tubes in beaker B2, and once temperature of 10?C of starch and amylase has been obtained and verified with thermometer, proceed to step 5. 5. Combine contents of both test tubes in small beaker B3. Start stopwatch. Place and remove beaker B3 into and from beaker B2 to maintain temperature of 10?C, verifying with thermometer. 6. Continue to step 1 in section C. Section C: Continuation of either section A or section B 1. After 30 seconds add two drops of mixture from either beaker B1 or beaker B2 depending on which temperature range of reaction is being investigated, to first depression on spotting tile. 2. Repeat step one every 30 seconds, adding mixture to following depression on spotting tile, until no blue/black colour is instantly observed in spotting depressions once mixture has been added to them. Record time (divisible by 30 seconds) taken to achieve this. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 two more times and calculate average time taken for reaction to take place. 4. If investigating with temperatures above and including 20?C, repeat section C, but with temperature of starch and amylase increased by another 10?C. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that it is sufficiently conclusive to support my prediction. However, I can make a few changes that could improve this experiment. Namely, increasing the amount of water-baths at different temperatures, which would increase in 1?C increments and not 10?C. This would allow me to plot more precise curves and would also allow me to prove that indeed the optimum temperature of amylase is about 37?C and not 40?C, which is what I had to assume due to limitations in the equipment I had access to. Also the use of more accurate starch digestion detection methods could mean that it would be possible to obtain results that are more accurate than to the nearest 1/2 minute, as in my case. To reinforce the idea that human enzymes work at an optimum temperature more, I could conduct the same experiment, but instead of using amylase to digest starch into maltose, I could use lipase to digest fat into fatty acids and glycerol. This experiment would also show that the optimum temperature for the rate of reaction of an enzyme in humans is around 37?C. 1 ...read more.

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