Alpha-Amylase is an enzyme that hydrolyses alpha-bonds of large alpha-linked polysaccharides such as starch and glycogen, yielding glucose and maltose. Alpha-Amylase is the major form of amylase found in humans and other mammals.
The alpha-amylases are calcium metalloenzymes, completely unable to function in the absence of calcium. By acting at random locations along the starch chain, α-amylase breaks down long-chain carbohydrates, ultimately yielding maltotriose and maltose from amylose, or maltose, glucose and "limit dextrin" from amylopectin. Because it can act anywhere on the substrate, α-amylase tends to be faster-acting than β-amylase. In animals, it is a major digestive enzyme and its optimum pH is 6.7-7.0.
Alpha-amylase is used in ethanol production to break starches in grains into fermentable sugars.
An alpha-amylase called "Termamyl", sourced from Bacillus licheniformis, is also used in some detergents, especially dishwashing and de-starching detergents.
Amylase, hydrolysis of long-chain carbohydrates (strach)