How do Diastase and Pepsin Enzymes help in Digestion?

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Significance of Diastase:

Diastase is one of the amylolytic enzymes present in the saliva like salivary diastase or ptyalin, pancreatic diastase or amylopsin. It is found in the digestive tract of the animals, it is also called as animal diastase. It is also known as amylase. It is also formed during the germination of barley grains and it is known as malt-diastase. Many other amylolytic enzymes and carbohydrates of commercial importance are known which are used in therapeutics. Some of the important amylolytic enzymes are zymase, maltase, sucrase, cellulase, invertase, hyaluronidase and lysozyme. Amylase is a yellowish white amorphous powder obtained from the infusion of malt. It has faint characteristic odour.

Ribbon diagram of human salivary alpha-amylase...

Ribbon diagram of human salivary alpha-amylase. Created using Accelrys DS Visualizer Pro 1.6 and . ; Legend ion ion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Diastase Properties :

It is thermolabile and sensitive to a temperature more than 45 degrees. It is active at a temperature between 35 to 40 degrees and active in solution having a pH range of 6 to 7. Acidic range of pH upto 4 causes its deactivation. It catalyses the hydrolysis of 1,4 – glucosidic linkages of polysaccharides such as glycogen and starch. It can convert 50 times its weight of potato starch into sugars.

Diastase Uses :

  • It is used as a digestant
  • Used in the production of pre-digested starchy foods
  • Converts the starch t fermentable sugars in fermentation and brewing industries.

Significance of Pepsin:

Pepsin is a substance which contains a proteolytic enzyme and is present in the gastric juice of animals. Pepsin is obtained from from the mucous membrane (glandular layer) of fresh stomach of hog, Sus scrofa belonging to the family Suidae.

Pepsin

Pepsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pepsin is an amorphous powder which is light buff or white in colour. It also occurs as translucent scales. It has slightly acidic or saline taste with meaty odour. It is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol, ether and chloroform. The biological activity is lost when pepsin is treated with alkali or pancreatic enzymes. The maximum activity occurs at a pH of 1.8. It has the capacity to digest 2500 times its weight of coagulated egg albumin. It is also available in other forms which digests even upto 10,000 times their weight of coagulated egg albumin.

Preparation of Pepsin:

The minced stomach linings are digested with hydrochloric acid, then clarification is done, controlled evaporation, dialysis and the digested solution is concentrated. When processed, solution is carefully subjected to vacuum evaporation, then spongy pepsin is formed. Pepsin degrades the proteins into peptones and proteoses.

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