HUFFINGTON POST
11/09/2010 02:10 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Amylase: The Enzyme Behind Our Love For Ice Cream

Why people prefer certain foods over others depends largely on a combination of taste and texture. While taste sensations are fairly well understood, scientists are just beginning to unravel the mystery of food texture.

Now, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia have found that an enzyme in saliva called amylase, which breaks down starch into liquid, could play a key role in determining the appeal of various textures of food. A new genetic study shows that people produce strikingly different amounts of amylase, and that the more of the enzyme people have in their mouth the faster they can liquefy starchy foods.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal