Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Starch Amylase Experiment

I made up a starch solution  with 1/4 teaspoon  of starch dissolved in about 100ml of water I used soluble starch but corn starch will do or even the water from boiling potatoes.
I had a failure with the experiment the last time I did it with a student so I tried the same chemicals again to test to see if they worked. Into the first tube I added some starch and a few mls of a 1% Amylase solution. Into the next tube I put the same amount of starch and 2-3 mls of spit - I know this enzyme works.

After 20mins I took a sample of each of the tubes and added a squirt of Benedicts reagent and placed in a beaker of near boiling water for a few minutes. The left hand tube with the commercial Amylase powder enzyme turned the brown colour - confirming that the enzyme was working and converted some of the starch to maltose.

The middle tube went green showing that the Amylase in my mouth worked - slower - but some Maltose was made.

The tube on the right with just starch and no enzyme did not change showing that Starch does not react with Benedicts solution and there was no Maltose present in the starch.

So the Amylase enzyme does work and does convert starch to Maltose which is a reducing sugar (the Benedicts Test)
My spit works too albeit slower.
Now why did this not work for the student? I have no idea.

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