What Is the End Product of Starch Digestion?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 28, 2020 8:34:54 AM ET

When starch, a polysaccarhide, is digested, it is finally broken down into monosaccharides (glucose, galactose and fructose) in the digestive system. Starch provides nutrients to the human body that must be broken down into simpler units that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, and eventually fuel the human body with energy to run metabolic activities.

Digestion of starch begins in the mouth, catalyzed by salivary amylase/ptyalin. The main purpose of starch digestion is to break them down into smaller micronutrients usable by the body. During digestion of starch in the mouth, two things happen: the food is smashed up and then salivary amylase begins the breakdown of starch into smaller compounds called dissacharides (maltose and isomaltose).

When the starch is swallowed, it goes to the stomach where the work of salivary amylase gets extinguished because of the acidic nature of the stomach, hence lowering the pH below 4.0. Digestion of starch gets active again when the food reaches the small intestines. The brush borders of the small intestine contain enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, sucrase and lactase, which hydrolyze disaccharides into oligosaccharides. Pancreatic amylase breaks down oligosaccharides further into monosaccharides, the simplest form of carbohydrates (starch). The brush borders produces another enzyme referred to as maltase that breaks down maltose into glucose. Sucrase, lactase and other pancreatic enzymes break down sucrose and lactose. Therefore, the final end products of starch digestion are glucose, sucrose and lactose, as stated by GMO Compass.