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Starch Digestion

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A series of free Science Lessons for 7th Grade and 8th Grade, KS3 and Checkpoint Science in preparation for GCSE and IGCSE Science.

Investigate Digestion of Starch by Amylase
The saliva in your mouth contains amylase, which is a starch digesting enzyme. If you chew a piece of bread for long enough, the starch it contains is digested to sugar, and it begins to taste sweet.
This presentation describes an experiment using iodine solution to track the digestion of starch by amylase.
Starch is a type of carbohydrate found in potato, rice and pasta.
Iodine can be used to test for the presence of starch.

1. Place a tube containing amylase solution and a tube containing starch in a water bath. The solutions are then given time to reach the temperature of the water bath. (The water bath is at 37°C which is similar to the temperature of our body).
2. Prepare a spotting tile with a drop of iodine solution in each dimple.
3. Mix the starch solution and enzyme solution in one tube and place the tube back in the water bath.
4. Every two minutes, a drop of starch/amylase solution is taken from the tube in the water bath and added to the iodine solution in one dimple on the spotting tile.
5. Take note of the colour change for each time interval.

1. Why do the solutions need to start at the same temperature?
2. Why is the starch/amylase solution kept in the water bath?
3. When was the digestion of starch by amylase complete?/ Explain your answer.

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