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My aim is to investigate the breakdown of starch molecules (polysaccharides) into maltose molecules (disaccharides) catalysed by the digestive enzyme amylase. I am trying to find out if the rate of reaction is affected by pH.

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  • Essay length: 2202 words
  • Submitted: 13/08/2003
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AS and A Level Molecules & Cells

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AS Biology T1 Individual Project

Kevin Isaacs 12B1 22/10/02

Amylase Investigation

Aim:

My aim is to investigate the breakdown of starch molecules (polysaccharides) into maltose molecules (disaccharides) catalysed by the digestive enzyme amylase. I am trying to find out if the rate of reaction is affected by pH.

Hypothesis:

I predict that the amylase will be most effective at breaking down starch at a pH of around 7 to 8. As the pH moves further away from this level, either increasing (becoming more alkaline) or decreasing (becoming more acidic) I expect that the rate of reaction will slow down. Eventually, at very low or very high pHs I expect that the enzyme will not catalyse the reaction at all.

Amylase is a biological catalyst. It is found in the mouth in saliva produced by the salivary glands and in the duodenum produced by the pancreas. It speeds up the chemical reaction of breaking down starch into sugar (maltose).

A catalyst is a substance that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction. The catalyst changes the mechanism of the reaction lowering its activation energy. This means that the reaction will take

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