Amylose, Amylopectin (starch)


 Amylose and amylopectin are different forms of starch.

Plant starch comes in two different forms: amylose (20-30%) and amylopectin (70-80%), each with their own physical and chemical properties:

  • Amylopectin consists of large, highly-branched molecules, making up the majority of the starch found in plants.

  • Amylose consists of long, chain-like molecules.

Properties of amylopectin such as water solubility and bonding capacity make it more useful for technical applications in the food, paper, and chemical industries. It is well suited for use in pastes, adhesives, and lubricants. The food industry also takes advantage of its properties.

Usually, amylose and amylopectin must be separated or modified by chemical, physical, or enyzmatic means.

For several years, researches have been working on potatoes genetically modified to contain exclusively amylopectin starch. Scientists discovered a gene (GBSS, granular binding starch synthase) that encodes an enzyme directing amylase starch production. This gene can be turned off, thereby interrupting the production of amylose.

See also:
Starch

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