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What is "Maltose"?

[*] Maltose is the disaccharide obtained by enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of starch. It consists of two D-glucopyranoses joined by a 1,4'-beta-glycoside bond. It's a reducing sugar because the anomeric carbons on the right-hand sugar are part of a hemiacetal.

Maltose is structurally very similar to cellobiose, but wildly different biologically. Cellobiose cannot be digested by humans and cannot be fermented by yeast. Maltose, however, is digested without difficulty and is fermented readily.

Because it is easily used by the body, it is sometimes used, together with dextrin, a polysaccharide, in infant formulas.

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