Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An amylase or a mixture of amylases that is found in milk and that converts starch to dextrin and maltose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any one of a group of enzymes which catalyses the breakdown of starch into maltose; mostly amylase

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A soluble enzyme, capable of converting starch and dextrin into sugar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A substance existing in barley, oats, wheat, and potatoes after germination.

Etymologies

French, from Greek diastasis, separation; see diastasis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek διάστασις ("separation"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • These substances are mostly insoluble, but are brought into solution by the atmospheric oxygen acting upon the gluten, and converting it into a soluble substance called diastase, which in its turn reacts upon the starch, converting it first into dextrine, and then into cellulose, and the latter is finally deposited in the form of organised cells, and produces the first little shoot of the plant.

    Elements of Agricultural Chemistry

  • -- The cells composing the embryous membrane contain, as already stated, the cerealine, but after the germination they contain cerealine and diastase, that is to say, a portion of the cerealine changed into diastase, with which it has the greatest analogy.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 275, April 9, 1881

  • There is present in the malt a substance known as diastase, which has the property of changing starch into maltose.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

  • When germinated seed, as malted barley, is extracted, a soluble and highly nitrogenous substance, called the diastase ferment, is secured that changes starch into soluble forms.

    Human Foods and Their Nutritive Value

  • The starch has to be changed by the ferment called diastase (diastase is a vegetable ferment which converts starchy foods into a soluble material called maltose) into sugar, and the sugar into alcohol and carbonic acid gas (carbon dioxide), when it makes itself known by the bubbles which appear and the gradual swelling of the whole mass.

    Public School Domestic Science

  • M. Paul Bert, in his remarkable studies on the influence of barometric pressure on the phenomena of life, has recognized the fact that compressed oxygen is fatal to certain ferments, whilst under similar conditions it does not interfere with the action of those substances classed under the name of SOLUBLE FERM.NTS, such as diastase (the ferment which inverts cane sugar) emulsin and others.

    The Harvard Classics Volume 38 Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology)

  • Paul Bert, in his remarkable studies on the influence of barometric pressure on the phenomena of life, has recognized the fact that compressed oxygen is fatal to certain ferments, whilst under similar conditions it does not interfere with the action of those substances classed under the name of soluble ferments, such as diastase (the ferment which inverts cane sugar), emulsin and others.

    VI. The Physiological Theory of Fermentation. Reply to the Critical Observations of Liebig, Published in 1870

  • Perhaps it is time to start making the positive cultural case for the English and reclaim it from the cartoonish parody of bigotry by which the Left express their diastase for the English Working Classes.

    Cameron Can't Ignore Devolution for England

  • The action of microdoses of mercuric chloride on diastase.

    The Best Alternative Medicine

  • But emulsin is a diastase and has the property of breaking up amygdalin, liberating hydrocyanic acid, which is one of the most virulent toxic gases known.

    Charles Richet - Nobel Lecture

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