Through which process does the body break down starch?
Starch is a polymer known as a polysaccharide. It is constructed of a long chain of glucose monomers joined together. Plants store excess glucose as starch in plastids until such time as it is needed as an energy source. Starch can also be consumed by heterotrophs and broken down to glucose which can be used as an energy source for cellular respiration to produce ATP.
The process by which starch is broken down is called hydrolysis or digestion. Enzymes specific to starch digestion (amylases) are found in the saliva as well as in the small intestine. These catalyze digestion of large starch molecules into simpler glucose monomers.
The process works by the addition of water which acts on the glycosidic linkages between adjacent sugars that are connected in the starch molecule. As water is added, the...
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