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ABSTRACT The enzyme alpha-amylase is a catalyst to break up starch to from glucose Without being consumed in the reaction enzymes are catalysts that speed up the rate of the reaction They achieve this by combining with a substrate and then separating from it form products Environment factors that affect enzyme reactions include temperature and pH The optimal temperature and pH at which the reaction will occur coincides with the point where the rate of reaction is at maximum value The purpose of this experiment was to determine the ideal temperature pH and fastest rate for alpha-amylase This was performed using I KI as an indicator of the complex and a spectrophotometer to read the measurements at a temperature range from 15-70C and a pH range of 40-65 Readings of starch concentration were then taken over a twenty minute interval The experimental results indicate that the optimal temperature is 50 and the optimal pH is 50 INTRODUCTION Enzymes are a class of proteins serving as catalysts chemical agents that change the rate of reaction without being consumed by the reaction Campbell 1996 Enzymes can increase the rate at which efficient reactions occur Vliet 1993 The reacting molecule on which an enzyme works is called the substrate The enzyme and the substrate come together to form an enzyme-substrate complex in enzymatic reactions The complex breaks down to form the enzyme and products Alpha-amylase enzymeStarch substrateGlucose productAlpha-amylase The amount of time it takes the enzyme to change the substrate into a product and the frequency with which the enzyme-substrate complex is formed regulate the rate of a reaction Factors such as temperature and pH can affect the reacting molecules and the catalytic activity of the enzyme Vliet 1993 Therefore enzymes will work most efficiently within a certain range of temperature and pH Warmer temperatures favor the forming of the enzyme-substrate complex since an increase in heat also increases
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