The maximum concentration of alpha-cyclodextrin for the enzymatic degradation of starch is limited to about 13.5 g X 1(-1). By addition of decanol, the equilibrium of the reaction system can be shifted towards an alpha-cyclodextrin yield of 50% even at high substrate concentrations. The main variables of the decanol process--pH, temperature, substrate quality, substrate, and enzyme concentration--have been studied. The cyclodextrin-glycosyltransferase from Klebsiella pneumoniae M5 al can preferentially be employed at pH 6 to 8, temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees C and a decanol concentration of 0.1 kg-1 starch. The dextrose equivalent of starch is important with respect to the maximum achievable starch concentration, but not with respect to the reaction. Under process conditions, the rate of alpha-cyclodextrin evolution is limited by the enzymatic reaction and not by mass transfer of decanol into the aqueous phase. [on SciFinder (R)]