Another closely related compound functioning as the glucose storage in animal cells is called glycogen, which has one branching per 12 glucose units.
The degree of branching and the side chain length vary from source to source, but in general the more the chains are branched, the more the starch is soluble.
The breakdown of large particles drastically reduces the viscosity of gelatinized starch solution, resulting in a process called liquefaction because of the thinning of the solution.
The final stages of depolymerization are mainly the formation of mono-, di-, and tri-saccharides.
Some plant examples with high starch content are corn, potato, rice, sorghum, wheat, and cassava.
It is no surprise that all of these are part of what we consume to derive carbohydrates.
Because the bacterial alpha-amylase to be used in this experiment randomly attacks only the alpha-1,4 bonds, it belongs to the liquefying category.
The hydrolysis reaction catalyzed by this class of enzymes is usually carried out only to the extent that, for example, the starch is rendered soluble enough to allow easy removal from starch-sized fabrics in the textile industry.
Because of the existence of two types of linkages, the alpha-1,4 and the alpha-1,6, different structures are possible for starch molecules.
An unbranched, single chain polymer of 500 to 2000 glucose subunits with only the alpha-1,4 glucosidic bonds is called amylose.