What Are Disaccharides

Looking at Table 4.1 we see that glucose is one-half of the disaccharides lactose and sucrose and both halves of maltose. Maltose, or malt sugar,

Table 4.1 Disaccharide Building Blocks


Monosaccharide Involved


Glucose + galactose


Glucose + fructose


Glucose + glucose

may be part of our diet naturally in seeds or alcoholic beverages. Sucrose is derived from the sugar cane plant and the beet, and the sucrose-rich product is called "sugar." Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in milk and dairy products. Nutrition scientists often refer to monosacchar-ides and disaccharides as "simple sugars" because of their relatively small carbohydrate size and their sweet taste. Table 4.2 presents the relative sweetness of simple sugars and compares them with sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners.

Monosaccharides such as glucose and fructose are the smallest carbohydrate and are used to build more complex carbohydrates.

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