When an aqueous suspension of starch is heated, the hydrogen bonds weaken, water is absorbed, and the starch granules swell.
This process is commonly called gelatinization because the solution formed has a gelatinous, highly viscous consistency.
As can be seen from the exercises in Experiment No.
3, the initial step in random depolymerization is the splitting of large chains into various smaller sized segments.
This process is called saccharification, due to the formation of saccharides.
Since a wide variety of organisms, including humans, can digest starch, alpha-amylase is obviously widely synthesized in nature, as opposed to cellulase.Because of the existence of two types of linkages, the alpha-1,4 and the alpha-1,6, different structures are possible for starch molecules.An unbranched, single chain polymer of 500 to 2000 glucose subunits with only the alpha-1,4 glucosidic bonds is called amylose.Currently, two major classes of alpha-amylases are commercially produced through microbial fermentation.Based on the points of attack in the glucose polymer chain, they can be classified into two categories, liquefying and saccharifying.The breakdown of large particles drastically reduces the viscosity of gelatinized starch solution, resulting in a process called liquefaction because of the thinning of the solution.The final stages of depolymerization are mainly the formation of mono-, di-, and tri-saccharides.Glucose is a simple sugar that's used as the main fuel source for the human body and most other life.Starch is a very large storage molecule composed of many glucose molecules bonded together in long chains.Similar to cellulose, starch molecules are glucose polymers linked together by the alpha-1,4 and alpha-1,6 glucosidic bonds, as opposed to the beta-1,4 glucosidic bonds for cellulose.In order to make use of the carbon and energy stored in starch, the human digestive system, with the help of the enzyme amylases, must first break down the polymer to smaller assimilable sugars, which is eventually converted to the individual basic glucose units.