Amylase (clarase) is supplied as a light coloured powder. It is a form of alpha-amylase that acts on starch (amylose and amylopectin) and breaks it down to simple sugars such as maltose and dextrins. Many organisms, including humans, use amylase to render dietary starch soluble so it can be absorbed during digestion.
Amylase (clarase) contains reducing sugars that are added at the manufacturing stage as an inert diluent to achieve batch-to-batch consistency. The presence of reducing sugars in the starting material means it is not reliable to follow the progress of the reaction by testing for the appearance of sugars with Benedict's Solution. Instead, use the iodine test to show loss of the starch substrate.
Reducing sugars have a carbonyl group (-CO) that can be oxidised in certain conditions. Examples of reducing sugars include glucose, fructose and maltose. Note, ordinary cane sugar, sucrose, is not a reducing sugar.
The iodine test is used to detect the presence of starch, specifically amylose. A solution of iodine in potassium iodide (MC26.1, I/KI, 1.5%/3%) forms an intense blue-black colour when it comes into contact with amylose.
Before ordering this product please review the relevant Safety Data Sheets (SDS) as part of a general risk assessment.
Enzyme SDS - Generic Enzyme Safety Data Sheet (new window, pdf format)