Amylase is an enzyme present in saliva that catalyses the hydrolysis of starch (Latin amylum) into sugars. Foods that contain large amounts of starch but little sugar, such as rice and potatoes, may acquire a slightly sweet taste as they are chewed because amylase degrades some of their starch into sugar. The pancreas and salivary gland make amylase (alpha amylase) to hydrolyse dietary starch into disaccharides and trisaccharides which are converted by other enzymes to glucose to supply the body with energy. Plants and some bacteria also produce amylase. Three categories of Amylases, denoted alpha, beta, and gamma, differ in the way they attack the bonds of the starch molecules.
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