from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A form of amylase in the saliva of humans and some animals that catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch into maltose and dextrin.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A form of amylase found in saliva that breaks down starch into maltose and dextrin.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An unorganized amylolytic ferment, on enzyme, present in human mixed saliva and in the saliva of some animals.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The peculiar principle of saliva, believed to be a proteid body, which acts as a ferment on starch, rapidly converting it into dextrose.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an amylase secreted in saliva
As the sign put it at the booth for Dogfish Head -- Delaware's ever-experimental and envelope-pushing brewery -- Chicha is "a traditional Peruvian corn beer brewed with molle tree seeds, strawberries, and organic purple corn that we chewed to allow the ptyalin enzyme in our saliva [to] convert starch into sugar pre-boil."
Humans: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Herbivores: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
* Meat-eaters: have acid saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Therefore, if you consume oranges, lemons and other acid fruits, or acids such as vinegar, along with starch, no ptyalin is secreted in the mouth to initiate the first stage of starch digestion.
This applies especially to carbohydrates, which require initial digestion by the alkaline ptyalin enzyme in the saliva of the mouth.
A mouthful of fluid taken along with a bite of starch dilutes the salivary secretions so much that the starch hits the stomach with insufficient infusions of the alkaline ptyalin enzyme, permitting the starch to ferment instead of digest in the stomach.
It is an equally well-established fact of science that when we chew a piece of bread or potato or any other carbohydrate/starch, ptyalin and other alkaline juices are immediately secreted into the food by the saliva in the mouth.
Any acid food taken together with starch suspends secretion of ptyalin, a biochemical fact of life upon which all physicians agree.
It has been established that, when sugar enters the mouth along with starch, the saliva secreted during mastication contains no ptyalin, thereby sabatoging starch digestion before it reaches the stomach.