- Derived from: Barley
- Pronunciation: (a-mah-LASE)
- Type: Naturally-derived
What Is Amylase?
Amylase is a naturally occurring enzyme that increases the breakdown of starches and carbohydrates.[1,2] Outside of personal care and cleaning products, amylase is used in a variety of industries, including brewing, distilling, baking, animal feeds, sewage treatment, and as digestive aids.
What Does Amylase Do?
Amylase is a mix of enzymes that make the hydrolysis of glycosidic linkages of polysaccharides. It breaks starch-based soil down to simpler forms for removal by detergents. It is also a skin conditioner and is found in thousands of products, including sunscreen, laundry detergent, and other items.[1,5,10]
Is Amylase Safe?
Studies show amylase is generally non-irritating and non-sensitizing to the skin and eyes.[12,13,14,15,16]
How Amylase Is Made
Amylase can be produced by plant, animal or microbial sources, including barley and rice, as well as Bacillus spp. B. amyloliquefaciens and B. licheniformis. The aspergillus and penicillium are other sources. Submerged fermentation and solid state fermentation are the two main methods of production. Submerged fermentation uses liquid substrates, such as molasses and broths, along with microorganisms, such as bacteria that require high moisture content for their growth. Solid-state fermentation uses microbes that require less moisture for their growth, including bran, bagasse, and paper pulp.
American Cleaning Institute
Soap and Detergent Association
 U.S. National Library of Medicine
 Environmental Working Group
 Sudarram, A., Murthy, T. P. K., “Alpha-amylase production and applications: a review.” Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology, 2014 2 (4), pp 166-175
 Griffith, J.F., Weaver, J.E., Whitehouse, H.S., Poole, R.L., Newmann, E.A., and Nixon, G.A. 1969. “Safety evaluation of enzyme detergents: Oral and cutaneous toxicity, irritancy and skin sensitization studies.” Food and Cosmetic Toxicology 7: 581–593.
 The International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.). 2002. “Guiding Principles for the Safe Handling of Enzymes in Detergent Manufacture.” Brussels: A.I.S.E.
 Bannan, E.A., Griffith, J.F., Nusair, T.L. 1992. “Skin testing of laundered fabrics in the dermal safety assessment of enzymecontaining detergents.” Journal of Toxicology—Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology 11 (4): 327–339.
 Rodriguez, C., Calvin, G., Lally, C., and LaChapelle, J.M. 1994. “Skin effects associated with wearing fabrics washed with commercial laundry detergents.” Journal of Toxicology—Cutaneous & Ocular Toxicology 13(1): 39–45.
 Greenough, R.J., Everett, D.J., and Stavnsbjerg, M. 1991. “Safety evaluation of alkaline cellulase.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 29(11): 7815.