Maltose, also referred to as malt sugar, is a sweet substance. Compared to sucrose or table sugar, its sweetness is just half. Maltose is prepared from starch, for instance substances like rice, wheat, barley or other grains. In China, people have been producing maltose since 200 B.C. Maltose is also produces by our body when it digests foods containing starch. Subsequently, maltose is metabolized into glucose.

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An Irish chemist as well as brewer Cornelius O'Sullivan is credited with discovering maltose in 1872. Maltose gets its name from malt, mealth in Old English. Malt has its origin in Germanic, while the suffix -"ose" denotes the names of various sugars, in addition to carbohydrates.

When two units of glucose unite it forms maltose. The unification provides the initial link of a course that finally leads to the formation of starch. Maltose forms a vital ingredient in the process undertaken to ferment barley, which can be used for brewing beer. When a third unit of glucose is added to this, it produces a type of sugar called maltotriose. Adding more units of glucose will help to produce maltodextrins. It is worth mentioning here that each of these steps helps to form a sweet product concentrate, which is used in several dissimilar food applications. Moreover, they are also used to brew beer.

Outside the body, it is quite easy to produce maltose naturally. Barely can be used in the form of a base and the procedure begins when the grains start germinating. If you allow the germination process to continue for some time, subject to the way the malted barley will eventually be used, the barley is heated with a view to end the germination process. When you malt the germinated barley, it aids in increasing the amylase enzyme concentration in the substance. When you combine the barley grains with water and heat the combination, amylase enzyme breaks down the starch present in them resulting in the production of maltose.

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Maltose produced by this process is added to yeast while the fermentation process is still on. This results in the formation of sugar that is soluble in water. When this sugar is added when the process is still in its liquid stage, it aids in releasing ethanol as well as carbon dioxide (CO2). Provided that sugar and the yeast are blended in the right proportion, the beer produced during the process will be of superior quality. It will not only be smooth and tasteful, but also powerful.

It is also possible to create maltose artificially in laboratories. This can be achieved by heating maltose added to a potent acid for about ten minutes. Since heating the medium along with a strong acid can speed up the process of producing maltose that can be used for making different beverages. Several producers who create beverages on a large-scale prefer using this process to produce big beverage batches.

It is worth mentioning here that the substance maltose should never be ingested individually as a sweetener. Unlike table sugar, you cannot consume it separately. Nevertheless, maltose is a wonderful additive to several dissimilar packaged foods. This also includes beverages that do not contain alcohol.

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Maltose is of two different types, each showing the process followed to create this substance. The first type of maltose is the naturally created one, while the second type depicts maltose produced artificially.

It is very easy to create natural maltose. You just require germinating barley seeds. Once the seeds have germinated, you need to heat them over an oven. Before you start heating the seeds, you need to add water to them. What you obtain from the process is maltose. So, you can see that the process involved in creating natural maltose is very simple. In order to undertake the fermentation process, you need to add yeast to the maltose you have created from barley seeds. The fermented product is generally employed for brewing beer.

A number of foods also enclose maltose. Such foods include cereals, sweet potato, low-fat caramel sauce, kamut and pears. People with diabetes should exercise additional caution while consuming the foods mentioned above as well as drinking water and beverages, especially alcoholic drinks.

As far as beverages are concerned, maltose adds flavour to malted milk, cream soda, rice milk drinks and beer. All the foods and drinks mentioned above should only be consumed in moderate amounts with a view to maintain a perfect blood sugar level. Drinking them in excess may shoot up the blood sugar levels.

Health benefits and uses

Maltose offers a number of health benefits. This form of sugar is utilized to make bread. Similar to any other type of sugar, maltose also feeds the yeast, thereby producing gas, which is responsible for the bread to puff up. However, different from the ordinary or table sugar, maltose tastes less sweet and compared to sucrose, it is excellent for working with flour. Moreover, maltose is also employed for brewing beer. The food industry uses this form of sugar as an additive to enhance the shelf life of products. Maltose is, however, never used separately as a sweetener, as it is not sweet enough.

This type of sugar plays a vital role in beer production. Nevertheless, it is contained in very less amounts in most beers, because nearly the entire maltose is changed to alcohol at some stage in the brewing process.

Maltose is a vital ingredient in the fermentation process, especially while brewing beer. In fact, the International Starch Institute has endorsed the use of maltose obtained from barley, corn syrups containing high maltose and various other grains for brewing beer.

Another health benefit offered by maltose is that its addition to various foods increases their shelf live. This sugar is usually added to foods like candies, baked goods, jams and jellies. Maltose not only keeps the flavour of foods stable, but also prevents them from losing their original color. Food manufacturers usually use the powdered form of maltose. This is because as far as sweetness is concerned, it offers flexibility.

Findings of studies have proved in 2002 that the use of maltose is capable of increasing saliva production. In this way, maltose is an excellent remedy for dry mouth. Maltose lozenge in anhydrous crystalline form is used during this treatment process.

Jellies, jams and syrups are often affected by microbial growths. However, adding maltose to these products helps to check this kind of microbial growth. Adding maltose to such products increases their volume, but, at the same time, decreases their sweetness. In fact, maltose is also added to spice mixes in the form of an additive, mainly because of this sugar's antimicrobial property.

It is advisable that people who are very conscious about their health should consume sugar in moderation. What is significant about maltose is that it contains glucose, which gives this sugar an elevated glycemic index (GI). When you consume foods containing high amounts of maltose, it is likely that you will experience an instant response from the digestive system.


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