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noun, plural: beta-amylases

A form of amylase found in bacteria, molds, yeasts, and the seeds of plants that cuts alpha-bonds of large sugar molecules (e.g. starch, glycogen, and related polysaccharides), removing the successive beta-maltose units from the non-reducing ends of the chains.


In plants, the β-amylase breaks starch into sugar, resulting in the sweet flavor of ripe fruit.


Compare: alpha-amylase