An enzyme in the saliva and pancreatic juice that catalyzes the hydrolysis (breaking down) of starch, glycogen and related polysaccharides into more simple and readily usable forms of sugar. It cleaves the α (1-4) glycosidic linkages.
The amylase is produced and secreted by salivary glands and pancreas to aid in the chemical digestion of foodstuff (such as starch).
Amylase is also present in other organisms such as molds, bacteria, yeasts and plants. In plants, the amylase can be found in seeds to break down starch into sugar to be used by the embryo to induce growth.
The types of amylases: