7 Critical Difference between Amylase and Amylose

What is the difference between amylase and amylose?

Starch is stored in plants as carbohydrates. It is classified as a polysaccharide since it comprises of single units joined by glycosidic bonds. Starch is made up of amylose and amylopectin.

The lesson provides a detailed insight into the difference between amylase and amylose with a comparison table. Besides that, you will learn more about the similarities between amylase and amylose.

Difference between Amylase and Amylose

What Is Amylase?

Amylase is an enzyme that speeds up the hydrolysis of starch. The hydrolysis of starch involves the breakdown of starch into smaller units.

The enzyme is commonly found in the saliva and it is responsible for breaking down the alpha-1, 4-glycosidic bonds into smaller units.

Characteristics of Amylase

  1. Tend to be protein in nature
  2. Made up of a number of amino acids
  3. Has a tertiary protein structure
  4. Molecules are joined by hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic bonds, disulfide bonds, ionic bonds, and Van Der Waal bonds
  5. Classified into alpha, beta, and gamma amylase

What Is Amylose?

Amylose is a carbohydrate comprise of several molecules of molecules joined by 1, 4-glycosidic bonds. It is among the major components of starch. The molecules are made out of alpha-D-glucose.

The polysaccharide occurs in a linear chain of glucose and the number of glucose units tends to vary from 300 to thousands. The chemical bond between carbon-1 and carbon-4 of glucose molecules is responsible for the linear chain.

The polysaccharide is not soluble in cold water but can be hydrolyzed into maltose by the enzyme amylase. The process happens during starch hydrolysis reaction.

Characteristics of Amylose

  1. The main source of energy
  2. Stored in the form of carbohydrate
  3. Has a linear structure
  4. Act as a thickener, water binder, emulsion stabilizer, and a jelling agent.
  5. Insoluble in cold water

Comparison Chart: Amylase Vs Amylose

Basic Terms Amylase Amylose
Meaning It is an enzyme that speeds up the hydrolysis of starch It is a carbohydrate that comprises of several units of glucose linked by 1, 4-glycosidic bonds.
Group Protein Carbohydrate
Structure It has a tertiary structure of the protein. It has a linear straight chain structure.
Monomers Made out of amino acids Made out of glucose molecules
Role in Biological Systems Hydrolysis of starch Storage of carbohydrates in plants
Location Saliva and pancreatic secretions Starch in plants
Glycosidic Linkages alpha-1, 4-glycosidic bonds 1, 4-glycosidic bonds
Energy Content No storage of energy Storage of high amount of energy
Reaction with Cold Water No reaction Insoluble

Core Difference between Amylase and Amylose

  1. Amylase is an enzyme responsible for catalyzing the hydrolysis of starch while amylose is a starch stored as carbohydrates in plants
  2. Amylase has a tertiary structure while amylose has a linear chain structure
  3. Amylase is a protein in nature while amylose are carbohydrates
  4. Amylase is made out of amino acids whereas amylose are made out of glucose units
  5. Amylase is responsible for the hydrolysis of starch while amylose for storage of carbohydrates in plants
  6. Amylose is found in the starch of plants whereas amylase from saliva and pancreatic secretions
  7. The glycosidic link in amylase is alpha-1, 4-glycosidic bonds while that of amylose is 1, 4-glycosidic bonds.
  8. Amylose is the greatest source of energy unlike amylase
  9. Amylose is insoluble in cold water while amylase is soluble
  10. Amylose give a dark blue color in iodine test while amylase gives a reddish-brown color

Read More: Difference between Amylose and Amylopectin 

Comparison Video


The core difference between amylase and amylose is that amylase is enzymes responsible for the hydrolysis of starch while amylose is starch stored in plants as carbohydrates.

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