Amylase is a digestive enzyme classified as a saccharidase (an enzyme that cleaved poly-saccharides). It is mainly a constituent of pancreatic juice and saliva, needed for the breakdown of long-chain carbohydrate (such as starch) into smaller units like disaccharides and trisaccharides.
Alpha-amylase is the major form of amylase found in humans and other mammals. It is also present in seeds containing starch as food reserve and it is secreted by many fungi. Although found in many tissues, alpha-amylase is most prominent in pancreatic juice and saliva. Alpha-amylase found in saliva breaks starch down to maltose and dextrin. It breaks large insoluble starch molecules into soluble forms e.g. amylodextrin, erythrodextrin and achrodextrin producing successively smaller starches and ultimately maltose. The pancreas produces alpha-amylase which hydrolyses dietary starch into disaccharides and trisaccharides which are converted by other enzyme to glucose to supply the body with energy (Alistair et al., 2006).