Malt enzymology

The carbohydrate fraction of malt is mostly in the form of starch.Approximately one-fourth of malt starch is amylose, a linear polymer consisting of glucose, linked a-1, 4. The remaining starch, three-fourths of the total, is amylopectin, which contains not only linear glucose, but also glucose in branched a-1, 6 linkages. The main starch-degrading enzymes synthesized during malting are a-amylase and p-amylase. The former is an endoenzyme, acting primarily at in tramolecular a-1, 4 glucosidic bonds. Products formed by a-amylase are dextrins (short chain glucose-containing a-1, 4 linear oligosaccha-rides) and limit dextrins (short chain glucose-containing a-1,4 and a-1,6 branched oligosaccharides). In contrast, p-amylase acts at the end or near the end of amylose and amylopectin chains. The main products are maltose and small branched dextrins.

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