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Amylose – Functions and Health Benefits

Aug 11, 2022


Amylose is a biological compound. This polysaccharide comprises several monomers of alpha-D-glucopyranosyl linked by α(1→4) glycosidic bonds. The attached particles are linked from one 1-carbon to the next 4-carbon. The number of monomers of amylose generally varies from 300 to 3000. Starch is mainly composed of amylose and amylopectin. Starch is a networked polysaccharide consisting of monomers linked by glycosidic bonds.

Plants store glucose in the form of starch for energy. The amylose generally composes about 30% of the stored starch in trees. Economically, amylose is a significant surfactant and hardener. In the research lab, amylose serves as a signpost that takes up the bluish colour on reacting with iodine and signifying the presence of starch.


What is Amylose?

Amylose is a carbohydrate helpful in many sectors as a bioresource. It is a linear element. The polysaccharide amylose has several D-glucose units. 1,4-glycosidic bonds link the various units. Thus, (1→4)-α-D-Glucopyranose is an IUPAC name of Amylose.

Did you know:

Have you ever experimented with adding iodine to a leaf? What does the colour change indicate? The change in colour of a leaf to dark blue or black on adding iodine is due to the presence of amylose present in the starch. The iodine molecules get trapped in the amylose helices.

Amylose is soluble in water. It can be hydrolyzed into its constituent glucose units by the action of the enzyme α- amylase. The plants can acquire energy when the protein α-amylase dismantles it into maltotriose and maltose.


Amylose plays an important role in storing the energy of plants. However, when amylose converts to the other start constituent, i.e., amylopectin, it will not dissolve simply.

Points to Remember:

It is important to note that amylose is very different from amylase. While amylose is a carbohydrate, amylases belong to the protein family. Although the names are similar, the two compounds are entirely different.

Properties of Amylose

  • The density of amylose is 1.25 g/mL.
  • Amylose is not soluble in water.
  • Its boiling point at 760 mmHg is 627.7 ± 55.0 °Celsius.
  • Amylose contains a changeable molecular weight.
  • This compound’s chemical formula is (C6H10O5)n
  • The surface tension of the amylose compound is 74.4 ± 5.0 dyne/cm.
  • It constitutes the bonds of α glycoside.
  • Amylose particles are likely to constitute close connections that build these particles.
  • When amylose reacts with iodine, it gives a bluish-black colour.
  • Amylose consists of a nasty smell.
  • The amylose structure has white crystals.

Amylose Structure

C6H10O5 is built of α(1→4) bound starch particles. The carbon particles in starch are figured, beginning at the ethanal trimer (C=O) carbon. Thus, the 1-carbon on a single starch particle is connected to the 4-carbon on the following starch particle (α(1→4) bonds). The chemical expression of C6H10O5 is delineated on the right side. The quantity of frequent starch monomers (n) generally varies from 300 to 3000 but can be more repetitions.


There are three major patterns of chains in amylose, present in disarranged amorphous corroboration or a pair of various helical ways. Amylose can link on its own in a two-bass (A or B pattern), or this can link with various hydrophobic guest particles like iodine, a sebaceous, or a fragrant molecule.

Uses of Amylose (C6H10O5)n

The uses of amylose are as follows:

  • It is utilized in enduring fabric finishings, big screens, ductile, and wood pulp gums.
  • Amylose glucose is utilized along with chewing gums or sugar as a frame which is useful in offering crispiness when cooking french fries, resulting in less oil absorption.
  • Amylose is utilized as glucose for packaging the food and hot dog covers, including macaroni, for steady heat in the oven.
  • It is present in seeds like cereals, maize, and bran. It is also found in carrots and cabbages.
  • It is an effective means of cellulose, which controls digestion and dietary activities.
  • Amylose will also be useful in maintaining blood glucose ranges and decreasing the dangerous situations of cardiac infections and various terrible infections.
  • Especially because it is fond of merging with water, amylose will be useful in changing materials, like cornstarch, into a hardener.

Amylose Functions

Amylose consists of thousands of starch particles. It is a linear chain of polymers.

  • Amylose is well known for storing energy in plants.
  • It is also a significant hardener, adhesive, adhesive balance, and gelatinization in companies and food-related factors.
  • It is known for its celluloid-making characteristics, thus maintaining a possible significance in food covering.
  • Like Amylopectin, Cellulose, and Glycogen, Amylose is also associated with energy storage and food reserve. For instance, starch contains 10-20% amylose.

Foods Containing Amylose

Since amylose is a constituent of starch, it can be found in varying quantities in foods that contain starch. Amylose can be found in the following:

  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Starchy fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Rice
  • Potatoes

It is interesting to note that recently researchers have found that high-amylose varieties of rice correspond to a much lower glycemic load. Therefore, such rice varieties can be beneficial for diabetics as they would not lead to a quicker glucose spike in the blood, which is detrimental for diabetics.

Health Benefits of Amylose

Amylose has several health benefits, including:

  • A Useful Prebiotic: It serves as a prebiotic. The non-digestible compound reaches the colon without being digested. It gets fermented in the gut by microorganisms. Amylose as a prebiotic contributes to good gut microflora and positively impacts the internal body system, boosting health.
  • Boosts Immunity: Good gut bacteria boost immune response too. Therefore, the prebiotic effect of amylose leads to boosted immunity.
  • Helps Reduce Weight and Prevent Obesity: Although this benefit is still debated, the weight-loss properties of amylose do have some evidence. Animal studies propose the idea that there is a significant reduction in fat tissue on amylose consumption.
  • Decreased Heart Disease Risk Factors: The impact of resistant starch on heart health is also in the early stages of research, but animal and human studies have found that amylose reduces cholesterol levels. It mainly brings down high triglycerides.
  • Diabetes Symptoms: Foods with high amylose are generally low on the glycemic index; thus, they do not add to insulin level spikes.
  • Lowers Risk of Colon Cancer: As prebiotics and resistant starch, it can contribute to bringing down the risk of colon cancer by promoting its optimal healthy state in humans.

Difference Between Amylose and Amylopectin

What is the difference between amylose and amylopectin? The two compounds are different types of polysaccharides that occur in starch granules. They have a few similarities but contain major differences in their structure and chemistry.

Since amylose has long linear chains that readily crystallize than amylopectin, high-amylose starch poses a greater resistance to digestion. Moreover, in contrast to amylopectin, amylose is not soluble in cold water. Higher amylose content relates to less expansion potential and lower gel strength for the same starch concentration.


The primary difference between amylose and amylopectin are enumerated in the following table:



A straight-chain polymer of D-glucose units

 A branched-chain polymer of D-glucose units

It makes up 20% of starch.

It snakes up 80% of starch.

It is water soluble.

It does not dissolve in water.

It has α-1,4-glycosidic bonds connecting glucose units.

It has α-1,4-glycosidic bonds between the glucose units in the linear chain and α-1,6-glycosidic bonds at the branching.


It is vital to know the structure of amylose and study the constituent particles to understand what it is its uses and its properties. Amylose is constructed of 100-1000 starch particles in a straight chain. It is soluble in water and responsible for 20 to 25% per cent of starch.

Amylose usages comprise complete fabric finishings, adaptable, filmmaking, and pulpwood gums. The amylose glucose has been utilized together with an instant starch or food gum as a connector to give a crispy flavour to chips which helps decrease the absorption of oil. The health benefits of amylose are many and more research is required on the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is amylose used for?

Amylose is a biological compound utilized in different sectors as an operative bioresource. Amylose is a significant hardener, water coupler, cosmetic stability, and pasting agent. It is also known as resistant starch. Amylose contains a lot of health advantages like keeping up healthy germs expansion, fixing blood sugar and decreasing cholesterol.

Q2. What is the amylose structure?

Amylose is a straight polymer chain of starch particles. It consists of alpha-D-glucose particles fixed with attractive force utilizing the bond alpha (1,4) glycoside. We generally have many starch particles in a single amylose particle.

Q3. Why amylose a helix?

The glucose units of amylose are connected with the bonds of glycoside, while the bonds of glycoside connect the units of cellulose side. These various linkages make amylose create helical models and starch to build straight-chain polymers. Due to its firmly covered spiral model, it is durable in digestion compared to various glucose particles and thus is a significant form of carbohydrate.



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