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[dahy-uh-steys, -steyz] /ˈdaɪ əˌsteɪs, -ˌsteɪz/
an enzyme that breaks down starch into maltose, then dextrose, and is present in malt.
< French diastase (1833) < Greek diástasis; see diastasis, -ase Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for diastase


/ˈdaɪəˌsteɪs; -ˌsteɪz/
any of a group of enzymes that hydrolyse starch to maltose. They are present in germinated barley and in the pancreas See also amylase
Derived Forms
diastasic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Greek diastasis a separation; see diastasis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for diastase

enzyme or group of enzymes found in a seed and capable of converting starch into sugar, coined 1833 by Payen and Persoz from Greek diastasis "a setting apart," from dia- "across" (see dia-) + stasis "a standing" (see stasis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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diastase in Medicine

diastase di·a·stase (dī'ə-stās', -stāz')
An amylase or a mixture of amylases that converts starch to dextrin and maltose, is found in certain germinating grains such as malt, and is used to make soluble starches, to aid the digestion of starches, and to digest glycogen in histological sections.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for diastase


any member of a class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis (splitting of a compound by addition of a water molecule) of starch into smaller carbohydrate molecules such as maltose (a molecule composed of two glucose molecules). Two categories of amylases, denoted alpha and beta, differ in the way they attack the bonds of the starch molecules.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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