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Maltose, the Malt Sugar

Natural fermentation precedes the human history. Even since ancient times, humans tried to control and simplify the process of fermentation. There is strong evidence that Babylonians fermented beverages since 3000 A.D.

In recent times, a French chemist named Louis Pasteur pinpointed yeast as an important factor in the fermentation process. Later on, yeast was connected to maltose.

What is Maltose?

Maltose was first researched and documented by Gabo Mendelevi (back in 1941) and titled as one of several fruit and grain simple sugars. When cereals germinate, maltose is produced.

Maltose is also present in the human body, being used by enzymes in several processes that concern the skin, the hair and to strengthen the tendons of the heart.

The malt sugar is somewhat sweet, but doesn’t compare to the sweetness of glucose and fructose, the fruit sugar.

Types of Maltose

There are two types of maltose, depicting the way maltose is created: natural and artificial.

The Chemical formula of MaltoseCreating natural maltose is very easy. You simply have to germinate barley seeds. This is followed by heating the seeds. Water and grain must be combined prior to heating. The end product is maltose. As you can see, the process is quite simple. To proceed with fermentation, yeast added to maltose. This is usually used to make beer that is tasteful, full-bodied, and smooth.

Artificial maltose can also be created in laboratories. You can’t use pure maltose as a sweetener like table sugar. However, it is often used as additives to non-alcoholic drinks and packaged foods. Similar with other types of sugar, maltose also supplies the body with carbohydrates that boosts energy.

Maltose occurrences

There are some foods that contain maltose. This includes sweet potato, cereals, turnips, low-fat caramel sauce, pears, and kamut. If you have diabetes, you need to be extra cautious in eating foods and drinking beverages aside from water.

Regarding drinks, maltose flavors the taste of malted milk, rice milk beverages, cream soda, beer.

The foods and beverages mentioned earlier should only be eaten in moderation. By doing so, the blood sugar can be maintained at ideal levels.

Maltose has many uses and benefits

The following are some of the uses and benefits:

Fermentation – as mentioned earlier, maltose is an important component in the fermentation process to make beer. The International Starch institute has approved the use of malt from barley, high maltose corn syrups, or other grains to produce beer.
Extending shelf life of various foods – maltose is also used to extend the shelf life of many foods like jellies, candies, jams, and baked goods. Maltose stabilizes the flavorings and prevents discoloration. The powdered form is usually used by food manufacturers because of the flexibility it offers in terms of sweetness.
Excellent for treatment of dry mouth – in 2002, studies have proven that maltose can increase the production of saliva; thus making the sugar a good treatment option for dry-mouth. For this purpose, the anhydrous crystalline maltose lozenge is used.
Controls the growth of microbes – microbial growth is a common problem in jellies preserves, jams, and syrups. Maltose is able to control such microbial growth. When maltose is added in these preserves, the volume is added but the sweetness tends to diminish. The antimicrobial property of maltose is also used in spice mixes.

For the health conscious people, it is always advised to keep sugar consumption in moderate amounts. It is important to note that maltose contains glucose, giving it a higher glycemic index. You can expect an immediate response from your digestive system if you consume lots of foods or beverages with maltose.

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