The Effect Of Ph Levels On The Rate Of Activity Of ⍺-Amylase.

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The Effect of pH levels on the Rate of Activity of ⍺-Amylase

Ryan Andrew


Enzymes are some of the most important chemicals in the human body. Without them, humans and many other organisms would simply be unable to live. Our dependence on enzymes comes from their nature as biological catalysts, substances that speed up chemical reactions without being used up or changed (, 2017). They allow chemical reactions in our body to occur at a rate that is acceptable for our cells’ metabolism (, 2017). Enzymes are able to do this by binding to their substrate or substrates, the molecules they react with, and either breaking it down or combining them to form a new molecule (Wilbraham et
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Amylase is the name of a group of enzymes that break starch down into smaller molecules like maltose or glucose (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998). ⍺-amylase is the amylase that is found in many mammals, including humans, in whom it can be found in saliva or the small intestine (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998). As this is such an important topic for the world, many studies have been done to investigate the effects of pH on amylase. Two such experiments, one by Supannapong et al., and one by Tizon, Serrano and Traifalgar, both found that amylase activity peaked somewhere between a pH of 6 and 7, which fits in with most of the information available on this enzyme (2007; 2012). The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect that different pH levels had on the rate of activity of the enzyme ⍺-amylase. It was hypothesised that pH levels below and above 7 would result in a consistent decrease in the ability of the amylase to break starch down into glucose, and therefore the rate of activity of amylase and the amount of glucose in the solution, until the amylase became denatured to the point at which it no longer could react with the starch, at which point the reaction would stop, and further changes in pH level would have no effect. This is because ⍺-amylase’s natural environment, in saliva or near the pancreas, has a pH level of approximately 7 (, 2017). As such, any notable shift from a pH level of 7 will result in increasing levels of
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