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Investigating the breakdown of starch by the enzyme amylase.

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Introduction

Katie Wilson Investigating the breakdown of starch by the enzyme amylase Amylase is one of the digestive enzymes which breaks down the carbohydrate starch. It 'snips' the long-chain starch molecules into small, glucose molecules. Amylase Starch Glucose Method: 1) Using the pipette place 5cm� starch solution into a test tube. 2) Add 1 drop of Iodine to each dip in a spotting tile. 3) At the same time a) Add 5cm� amylase. b) Remove a few drops of the mixed solution. c) Drop it into the 1dip in the spotting tile. d) Start the stopwatch, Record the result. 4) After every minute, remove 1 drop of the mixed solution and add it to the spotting tile. ...read more.

Middle

The collision theory says that when particles of substances collide with one another there is a reaction. The more collisions, the faster the reaction or the more energy the particles have the faster the reaction. Therefore the higher the temperature the more energy the particles have and the faster the rate of reaction. However enzymes work best at body temperature (37�c) and above 50�c the enzymes change shape, they denature. An enzyme has an 'active site' which combines briefly with a substance and changes it - splitting it apart, or linking two pieces together. The shape of the active site fits only one type of molecule, like a lock and key, so it can only control one type of chemical reaction, once the 'key' denatures it no longer fits the lock. ...read more.

Conclusion

Using different amounts of starch solution with the same amounts of amylase at body temperature could simulate how your body digests different amounts of starch i.e. small and large meals. * Investigate PH levels; acidic or alkaline conditions can alter the shape of enzymes affecting the rate at which they work. From this we could find out which enzymes work well at different PH's and which enzymes denature at specific PH's. Suggested PH levels could be 3.7 and 12 for an appropriate range of results. * Take more care to ensure a fair test. The experiment could have been unfair because of inaccurate measurements and mixture of the solution prematurely or accidentally. The reaction could have been accurately measured, as the colour of the solution did not always change much. ...read more.

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