(Science: physiology) a soluble, nitrogenous ferment, capable of converting starch and dextrin into sugar.
The name is more particularly applied to that ferment formed during the germination of grain, as in the malting of barley; but it is also occasionally used to designate the amylolytic ferment contained in animal fluids, as in the saliva.
Origin: gr. Separation, fr, to stand apart; through -, to stand, set: cf. F. Diastase. Cf. Diastasis.