General information: Maltose (malt sugar) is a disacchride formed from two molecules of D-glucose. Maltose is the basic molecule of starch. In foods, it plays only a minor role. However, it accumulates in large amounts in the body during digestion of starch. The enzyme β-amylase cleaves starch to maltose units. Maltose is produced also in the process of germination, thus fresh seedlings contain lots of this sugar. The production of maltose from germinating cereals, such as barley, is an important part of the brewing process. Therefore beers contain maltose, too.|
|Dietetics: There are no disorders of metabolism known concerning maltose. Foodstuffs contain only small amounts of maltose. Diabetics should be careful drinking malt beers, however. Maltose is able to rise the blood sugar level instantly, as the enzyme maltase in the small intestine cleaves it into two molecules of glucose.|
|Chemistry: The disaccharide maltose is a white, crystalline powder, it|
| has the elemental formula C12H22O11. The two glucose molecules are bound to each other in an α-glycosidic bond. Maltose is soluble in water, its taste is sweetish. The sweetening intensity is only 30 to 50% of that of sucrose.|
Usage: Malt sugar tastes like caramel; it is used for bakeries, soft drinks, sweets, alcoholic drinks, and infant food. Furthermore, maltose is used to produce the sugar substitute -> maltitol that is added more and more to sugar-reduced or sugar-free products.