Maltose is a natural sugar produced from starch. It’s most common use is in foods such as candy, ice cream, soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. Other uses include pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medicine.
The main source of maltose comes from corn (Zea mays), but it can also come from rice or wheat. There are several varieties of maltose with different molecular weights; these differ according to their chemical composition and physical properties.
For example, glucose is lighter than fructose and maltose is heavier than dextrose.
Maltose is used mainly in confectionery products because its sweetness makes them easier to digest. They’re also commonly added to baked goods and candies because they provide a smooth texture without adding too much fat or calories.
However, maltose isn’t recommended for high-fat foods like meat, eggs or dairy products since it may cause blood sugar spikes which could lead to diabetes complications.
There are many types of maltose available today. Some of the most popular ones are dextrose, maltodextrin, lactitol and xylitol.
Dextrose is made from cornstarch while the others are made from cane sugar. These sugars have similar effects on your body and how they affect blood sugar levels.
Maltodextrin is another type of carbohydrate that’s derived from starch. It’s used as a filler in processed foods because it has little flavor or color.
In medicine, it’s used to control mucus and is a main component of sports drinks and medication for diabetes.
Lactitol is a sugar alcohol with a slight milk-like flavor; it has about half the calories of sugar per teaspoon. It also prevents tooth decay, so it’s often used as a sweetener in toothpastes and chewing gums.
Xylitol is another sugar alcohol with fewer calories than sugar and it also prevents tooth decay. Unlike other sugar alcohols, very little xylitol is absorbed into the blood stream, so it has virtually no noticeable effect on your blood sugar levels.
Maltose can also be used as a preservative or to add texture to food. It’s also a common ingredient in beer, malt vinegar and other foods that are made with yeast.
Maltose Good or Bad?
Maltose is a natural sugar, so it can’t be bad for you in moderation. However, too much of anything can be bad for your health, so don’t overdo it. If you eat too much sugar, it can cause tooth decay and weight gain. Too much of anything can also cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Combining sugars with proteins can also produce new molecules that have unknown effects on the body. For this reason, it’s best to avoid eating large amounts of processed foods.
Maltose is found naturally in low concentrations in some vegetables. These vegetables include beets and green peas.
However, it’s refined and added to other food products like soft drinks and candy.
Maltose is safe to consume if you don’t go over your daily caloric intake. A normal serving of maltose has about 50 calories and it shouldn’t exceed 10% of your total daily caloric intake.
If you need to limit your sugar intake, look for foods that have lower amounts of maltose, like vegetables.
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