What is maltose?
Most sugars are short chains composed of smaller sugar molecules that act as building blocks. Maltose consists of two glucose units. Table sugar, also called sucrose, is made from a type of glucose and a type of fructose. Maltose can be made by the decomposition of starch. Enzymes in the intestine will break down these glucose chains into maltose. Plant seeds also produce enzymes that release sugar from starch during germination.
For a long time, people have been using this natural process for food production. For example, in the process of malting, grains are sprouted in water and then dried. This activates the enzymes in the grain to release maltose and other sugars and proteins. The sugar and protein in malt are very nutritious to yeast, so malt has become very important in brewing beer, whiskey and malt vinegar.
Malt grains are also used as a sweetener in candies and desserts. Maltose can be purchased as dried crystals where brewing supplies are sold, or it can be sold as syrup with baking supplies. The syrup is usually based on corn, but don’t mistake it for high fructose corn syrup.
Foods high in maltose
Several foods naturally contain maltose. You can find it in wheat, cornmeal, barley and several ancient grains. Many breakfast cereals also use malt cereals to add natural sweetness. Fruits are another common source of maltose in the diet, especially peaches and pears. Sweet potatoes contain more maltose than most other foods, which is the reason for their sweetness. Most syrups get their sweetness from maltose. High maltose corn syrup provides 50% or more sugar in the form of maltose. It can be used to make hard candies and cheap sweeteners.
Is maltose healthier than sugar?
People usually use sucrose (also called table sugar) to cook and sweeten foods. It is another short two sugar chain, which is formed by connecting a glucose molecule and a fructose molecule. Because sucrose provides these two sugars, its health impact may be between glucose and fructose. However, fructose has a more serious impact on health, and its metabolism is different from that of glucose. Eating a high-fructose diet may lead to obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes onset faster. Since maltose consists only of glucose and not fructose, it may be healthier than table sugar. However, no studies have investigated the effect of using fructose instead of maltose, and more research is needed.
High maltose corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup
Some people think that sugar is healthier than the high fructose corn syrup that is often demonized. But in fact, their fructose content is very similar. Table sugar is exactly 50% glucose and 50% fructose, while high fructose corn syrup is approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose. This small difference makes sugar basically no healthier than high fructose corn syrup. Food companies are trying to avoid the growing public perception of fructose by replacing high-fructose corn syrup with high-maltose corn syrup. They may be right to do so. If you use maltose instead of the same amount of fructose, gram to gram, it may be a slightly healthier choice. Generally, high maltose and high fructose corn syrup can be substituted for each other at a ratio of 1:1, but individual products may be different. Just because fructose may be worse for you, it does not necessarily make maltose healthy. Remember, maltose is still sugar and should be used in moderation.
Is maltose harmful to you?
There are few studies on the health effects of maltose in the diet. Since most maltose is broken down into glucose during digestion, its health effects may be similar to other sources of glucose. In terms of nutrition, maltose provides the same number of calories as starch and other sugars.
Your muscles, liver, and brain can convert glucose into energy. In fact, the brain gets energy almost entirely from glucose. Once these energy requirements are met, any remaining glucose in the blood is converted into lipids and stored as fat.
Like other sugars, when you consume maltose in moderation, your body will use it as energy and will not cause harm. However, if you consume too much maltose, it can cause obesity, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease, just like other sugars.
Is maltose a reducing sugar?
The free aldehyde formed by ring opening can react with Fehling's solution, so maltose is a reducing sugar
Is maltose a simple sugar?
Maltose, also known as maltobiose or maltose, is a disaccharide composed of two units of glucose connected by α(1→4) bonds
Does maltose contain gluten?
Maltose is a sugar that is essentially gluten-free.
Maltose is a sugar that is not as sweet as table sugar. It contains no fructose and is used as a substitute for high fructose corn syrup.
Like any sugar, maltose can be harmful if consumed in excess, leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease (3 trusted sources).
Instead, use fruits and berries as sweeteners. This will help you reduce the sugar added to your diet. In addition, although they do contain small amounts of sugar, they also provide additional nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
Maltose may be preferable to sugar containing fructose. However, it is still sugar, so eat less.