The sources of Carbohydrates and their uses in the field of Experimental Food Chemistry


The sources of Carbohydrates and their uses in the field of Experimental Food Chemistry


Carbohydrate is a compound of carbon and water with the basic formula CnH2On. [Note: condensation products, such as sucrose, have one less H2O and a formula CnH2O(n-1)]. Carbohydrates are the most abundant of all carbon-containing compounds, composing nearly three-fourths of the dry mass of all plant life on earth. Examples of carbohydrates include glucose, sucrose (table sugar), starch, and cellulose.

Cellulose is a polymer of glucose, linked by beta-1, 4-glycosidic bonds. It is a complex carbohydrate similar in structure to starch. Examples are cotton, wood, and paper. As part of the human diet, cellulose helps prevent constipation and fights colon cancer.

Fructose is a sugar occurring naturally in a large number of fruits and honey. It is the sweetest of all common sugars. It is a simple carbohydrate with the formula C6H12O6.

 Galactose is a simple sugar having the same chemical formula (C6H12O6) as glucose and fructose, but a different arrangement of its atoms. It is an isomer of glucose with a hydroxyl group on carbon 4 reversed in positions. Galactose is often found in carbohydrates used in cellular recognition, such as blood types and neural receptors.

 Glucose is a simple sugar (C6H12O6) and the primary source of energy for all mammals and many plants. It is also known as dextrose, grape sugar, and corn sugar. It is about half as sweet as table sugar.

Hydrolysis is a chemical process whereby a compound is cleaved into two or more simpler compounds with the uptake of the H and OH parts of a water molecule on either side of the chemical bond that is cleaved. During digestion, the intestinal enzyme sucrase hydrolyzes (adds water to) sucrose (C12H22O11) to produce glucose (C6H12O6) + fructose (C6H12O6) in the intestinal tract.

Hemiacetal is a product of the addition of an alcohol to an aldehyde. An aldehyde is a compound containing the radical CH=O, reducible to an alcohol (CH2OH) and oxidizable to a carboxylic acid (COOH).

Maltose is a disaccharide composed of two molecules of glucose linked by an alpha-1,4- glycosidic bond. It is obtained from the hydrolysis of starch, and is used to flavor some candy. Maltose must be hydrolyzed to glucose before it can be absorbed and taken into the bloodstream.

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