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GCSE Biology Booster Tutor. Enzyme activity

Salivary amylase and the digestion of starch.

· GCSE Science Notes



 will be broken down (digested) into smaller soluble food molecules by ENZYMES.

Enzymes are 

biological catalysts. They speed up the chemical digestion of food. Each enzyme is specific to the food substance it works on. In other words, only a particular type of enzyme will act on carbohydrates. This enzyme will NOT act on any other substance.

Enzymes work by the 



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ACTIVE SITE of the enzyme is the key to this process. The shape of the active site is what gives the enzyme its specificity.

The enzyme is the key and the substance it acts on (called the 

substrate) is the lock.

For example, in the mouth, the carbohydrate macromolecule, starch is digested by the carbohydrase enzyme 

salivary amylase. The product of this chemical digestion is the smaller, soluble carbohydrate glucose.

The shape of the enzyme's active site can be easily damaged by high temperatures and the wrong pH. We say the active site becomes 



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