Interfacial Catalysis during Amylolytic Degradation of Starch Granules: Current Understanding and Kinetic Approaches

Yu Tian, Yu Wang, Yuyue Zhong, Marie Sofie Møller, Peter Westh, Birte Svensson*, Andreas Blennow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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Enzymatic hydrolysis of starch granules forms the fundamental basis of how nature degrades starch in plant cells, how starch is utilized as an energy resource in foods, and develops efficient, low-cost saccharification of starch, such as bioethanol and sweeteners. However, most investigations on starch hydrolysis have focused on its rates of degradation, either in its gelatinized or soluble state. These systems are inherently more well-defined, and kinetic parameters can be readily derived for different hydrolytic enzymes and starch molecular structures. Conversely, hydrolysis is notably slower for solid substrates, such as starch granules, and the kinetics are more complex. The main problems include that the surface of the substrate is multifaceted, its chemical and physical properties are ill-defined, and it also continuously changes as the hydrolysis proceeds. Hence, methods need to be developed for analyzing such heterogeneous catalytic systems. Most data on starch granule degradation are obtained on a long-term enzyme-action basis from which initial rates cannot be derived. In this review, we discuss these various aspects and future possibilities for developing experimental procedures to describe and understand interfacial enzyme hydrolysis of native starch granules more accurately.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3799
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Starch
  • Starch granules
  • Amylase
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Interfacial catalysis


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