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Enzymes and digestion

Carbohydrates

All monosaccharides and some disaccharides (e.g. maltose) are reducing sugars. A reducing sugar
is a sugar that can donate electrons to another chemical, in this case, Benedicts reagent. We can
therefore use Benedicts to test for a reducing sugar.

The sugar solution is added to an…

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Proteins

Amino acids are the basic monomer units which combine to make a polymer called a polypeptide.
Every amino acid has a central carbon atom to which four different chemical groups are attached:

Amino group (-NH2)
Carboxyl group (-COOH) ­ an acidic group hence amino acid
Hydrogen atom (-H)
R…

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The secondary structures can be twisted even further to give the complex, often unique structure
of each protein. This struture is maintained by a number of different bonds, including:

Disulfide bonds which are strong and not easily broken.
Ionic bonds which are formed between carboxyl and amino acid groups. They…

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Enzymes

Enzymes are globular proteins that act as catalysts, they lower the activation energy, allowing
reactions to take place at lower temperatures than normal.

Only a small region of the large enzyme moleule is functional. This is known as the active site,
which forms a small, hollow depression within the…

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so the substrate can no longer fit. This is called enzyme denaturation and it is a permanent
change.

Effect of pH

Each enzyme has an optimum pH and in a similar way to a rise in temperature, a change in pH
reduces the effectiveness of an enzyme and may eventually…

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