Z-Enzyme, which supplements the action of β-amylase or phosphorylase on amylose, has been isolated from the soya bean as a freeze-dried powder free from α- and β-amylases. Its function is the hydrolysis of the limited number of branch links in amylose which act as barriers to β-amylolysis or phosphorolysis. Z-Enzyme is shown to be a β-glucosidase and its action on amylose is simulated by the β-glucosidase of sweet almonds. The form of the β-glucosidic links in amylose is discussed.
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