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noun, plural: maltoses

A reducing disaccharide formed when two glucose monomers join together via α(1→4) glycosidic bond; the structural unit of glycogen and starch


Carbohydrates are one of the major classes of biomolecules. They are classified into monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. The simplest form of carbohydrates is a monosaccharide. Combining two monosaccharides by a glycosidic linkage forms a disaccharide. Maltose is one of the most common types of disaccharides; others are sucrose and lactose.

Maltose is a disaccharide comprised of two glucose units linked together by alpha-1→4 glycosidic bond. Similar to sucrose and galactose, maltose has a general formula of C12H22O11.

Maltose is digested or broken down into its monosaccharide units through hydrolysis with the help of the enzyme, maltase. The bond that joins the two glucose units is broken, converting maltose to two glucose units.

Maltose is commercially used as a sweetener, a nutrient in infant feeding, and in bacteriological culture media. It is also used in pastries. It makes bread dough to rise when carbon dioxide is produced and released during the conversion of starch into maltose by reacting the starch with enzymes.

Isomaltose is an isomer of maltose.

Word origin: malt + -ose (a suffix used in chemical naming of sugars)

IUPAC name:

  • (3R,4R,5S,6R)-6-(hydroxymethyl)-5-{[(2R,3R,4S,5S,6R)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxy}oxane-2,3,4-triol

Chemical formula:

  • C12H22O11

Also called:

  • malt sugar
  • maltobiose

See also:

Related term(s):

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