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Investigation on starch and the enzyme amylase.

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  • Essay length: 3894 words
  • Submitted: 30/06/2004
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AS and A Level Molecules & Cells

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Investigation on starch and the enzyme amylase

Problem:

1. Which concentration of amylase (4%, 2%, 1%, 0.5%, 0.25% or 0.125%) causes the greatest breakdown of starch?

2. Does the temperature affect the rate of enzyme activity?

Background theory:

Enzymes are catalysts, which increase the rate of a certain reaction without it being used up in the process. It is a specialised organic substance made up of polymers of amino acids, that catalyse the speed of many reactions involved in metabolism (chemical reactions occurring in the bodies of living organisms.)

An enzyme can work in either direction. Metabolic reactions are reversible and the direction in which they proceed depends on the relative amounts of substrate and products present. The reaction will take place from left to right until equilibrium between substrate and product is reached.

Although the enzyme has no effect on the equilibrium point, it speeds up the reaction until equilibrium is reached.

The function of enzymes

All enzymes consist of globular proteins, which can to speed up biochemical reactions. They have two special roles:

1. They greatly speed up the chemical reaction which otherwise would be tremendously slow.

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