Answer: It depends.
Veganism is a vow to stop animal cruelty and enhance your lifestyle. If you have turned towards veganism for the sake of your and the earth’s health, it is necessary to know its ramifications.
When you choose veganism, you need to know what is safe to consume and what is not. Vegans do not at any cost consume meat or any animal-based products. They skip dairy too.
Instead, as vegans, you should find plant-based alternatives for all your favorite food.
You might be wondering if some enzyme supplements required for digestion are vegan. In this article, you will find the answer to your question- Is amylase vegan?
Amylase is an enzyme that comes from bacteria, fungus, or animal sources. It is present in several food products, especially bread. Amylase is partially vegan. It depends on whether the amylase got created by bacteria present in an animal-based medium.
To further understand if amylase is vegan, read ahead. You will find detailed information on how amylase gets formed. You will also know the list of foods that contain amylase.
Now that you know amylase is partially vegan let us get into the details of the enzyme.
What Is Amylase?
Amylase is an enzyme that converts starch into sugar. Typically, it breaks down complex carbohydrates into simpler forms to speed up the digestion process.
There are three categories of amylases, namely alpha, beta, and gamma. Each of them differs in the method of attacking the starch molecules.
Alpha-amylase is found in humans and other mammals. In the digestive system, the salivary gland creates ptyalin, and the pancreas produces pancreatic amylase. Depending on the stomach acid levels, alpha-amylase breaks down starch quickly or slowly.
Beta-amylase is present in yeast, plants, bacteria, and mold. They have a component called diastase to break down starch. Beta-amylase is what is present in many of our food items.
Gamma-amylase is efficient in splitting specific glycosidic links in acidic surroundings.
How Is Amylase Made?
Amylase gets extracted from animal or plant, fungi, and bacterial sources. Amylase extracted from animal sources is decidedly not vegan. Whereas amylase extracted from plant, fungi, bacterial sources is partially vegan.
Amylase production through bacteria, fungi, and plant varies. The strains of bacteria or fungi or plant seeds are isolated and characterized in colonies according to their shape, weight, and morphology. The isolation occurs in glycerol stock at 20-degree Celsius.
Once the sources of amylase undergo screening, the selected strains undergo solid-state fermentation. For this, they need to be kept in an inoculation medium. This inoculation medium determines whether your amylase is vegan or not.
An inoculation medium with peptone, beef extract, and NaCl is decidedly not vegan. If the extract were plant-based, the amylase would be vegan.
How To Ensure Your Amylase Is Vegan?
Now that you have a basic idea of how amylase gets made, how do you identify if the food you buy has vegan amylase? Unfortunately, there is no easy way to figure out if amylase is vegan. So, you need to read the ingredients of your food product thoroughly.
You can also contact the manufacturer directly and find out.
The manufacturer will need to contact their amylase supplier and understand the process. Only this can help you identify whether vegan amylase is used in your food product.
Alternatively, you could avoid food products that contain amylase.
Food Items Containing Amylase
Amylase is an enzyme that is naturally occurring as well. It gets produced in our body to digest starch. It is also included in certain food items to help break down starch quickly.
Reading ahead, you will find food items that naturally contain amylase, which is safe to consume for vegans. You will also find food items that have included amylase that is partially safe for vegans.
Food Which Naturally Contains Amylase
Amylase is present in several food items naturally. You can consume these items without worries as they are natural, safe, and plant-based food items as a vegan.
- Mango – contains amylase to break down the carbs to aid easy digestion and absorption. Amylase helps mangoes to ripen too.
- Raw honey – contains not only amylase but also diastase, invertase, and protease. You need to ensure you buy raw honey, as processed and heated honey destroys these enzymes.
- Bananas – these contain plenty of amylases and are perfect for your digestive health. When bananas become ripe, the amylase is more active and increases healthy gut bacteria.
- Sauerkraut – contains amylase and other digestive enzymes. It is a cabbage that gets fermented and has a sour taste. Ensure you consume raw or unpasteurized sauerkraut to increase your gut health and immunity.
- Kimchi – it is a Korean fermented vegetable dish. It gets fermented with the Bacillus species of bacteria that add amylase to your food. It aids in your digestion and lowers cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk.
- Miso – it is a seasoning made from soybean and koji and is popular in Japan. Koji used to ferment adds amylase and other digestive enzymes to improve absorption of your food.
These are some foods that naturally contain amylase. You might want to conduct further research to find out what other food items naturally contain amylase and are vegan. It would help if you researched to stay the course of your veganism diet.
Food With Added Amylase
In some cases, amylase doesn’t occur naturally in food items. Instead, it is added as an additional ingredient. When you read the ingredient list, you will find amylase written in it.
However, note that these are not all vegan, as explained above. So, tread with caution.
- Brioche rolls with raisins – they are bakery items that contain calcium and amylase. They are partially vegan as the amylase and calcium might be animal-derived.
- Bread – is baked using yeast which contains amylase. Some vegan bread brands include Cobblestone Mill and Arnold Bread.
- Whey – is decidedly not vegan as it is the watery portion of milk. It also contains amylase that may or may not be vegan.
- Cakes – contain amylase, yeast, and possible dairy products and egg. If the cake gets made without dairy products and egg and uses vegan amylase, it is undoubtedly vegan.
Bakery food and starchy items generally contain amylase as an ingredient. It helps make bakery goods softer and easier to consume.
Starchy food items necessarily contain amylase to break down the starch. Without amylase, these food items will get challenging to break down and digest.
Vegan Amylase Supplement
You might have heard of digestive enzyme supplements too. There are amylase supplements available in the market. These supplements get marketed as solutions to fix leaky guts, bloating, diabetes, cholesterol issues, and more.
While you look at amylase supplements over the counter or in the supplement aisle of your departmental/grocery store, you need to tread carefully. Most amylase supplements are not verified or regulated yet.
Fortunately, institutions like Mayo Clinic and Current Drug Metabolism are working to create amylase supplements that are plant-based and verified.
Plant-based amylases can withstand the acid in our stomach, unlike animal-based amylase, which is pH-sensitive. Vegan amylase supplements are far effective and aid fat metabolization.
Have you wondered why it is advisable to take amylase or other digestive enzyme supplements?
The reason is relatively simple. The plant-based amylase enzyme supplements help in treating celiac disease. Moreover, they also help in increasing gluten tolerance.
Amylase supplements combined with certain vegan probiotics have proven helpful in breaking down gluten and raising your immunity levels. Hydrating and eating amylase-rich food helps boost your health.
Amylase supplements can reduce inflammation, osteoporosis, psychiatric illnesses, and more. The benefits are numerous.
However, note that any amylase supplements you need require a physician, nutritionist, or a doctor’s prescription. The amylase supplements have not yet been evaluated thoroughly by the FDA.
So, ensure you consume it with caution and do not go overboard however much it might benefit you.
This article has examined various facets to answer your question – Is amylase vegan? The research has proved that amylase is partially vegan.
It depends on whether it is animal-derived, plant-derived, or fungi/bacteria-derived. Moreover, it is also dependent on the inoculation medium if it is fungi/bacteria-derived.
Amylase is an important digestive enzyme found in our salivary glands and pancreas. It is also found in plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and mold. Amylase breaks down starch and carbohydrate into simpler units to aid digestion.
Note that you need to be careful when picking food products containing amylase. As an ardent follower of the vegan lifestyle, you should read into how amylase gets made. This will help you decide whether the food you want to consume is vegan or not.
So, lead a happy vegan lifestyle by reading more about your favorite foods here!