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Constituent of lactose,

sweetener sweetener

(Figure 2B). Maltose is mainly produced by partial hydrolysis of starch and consists of two glucose units linked through an a-1,4glycosidic bond (Figure 2C). Some nutritionally important disaccharides and their significance are outlined in Table 2.

Oligosaccharides

Oligosaccharides consist of a chain of between three and nine monosaccharide units covalently linked to form large units and are named trioses, tetroses, etc, depending on the number of carbon atoms in their molecules. Oligosaccharides are distributed widely in plants and when digested yield their constituent monosaccharides. The major oligosaccharides are the raffinose series, formed by the linkage of galactose, sucrose, and glucose units, and the maltose series, formed by the linkage of glucose units. Some nutritionally important oligosaccharides and their significance are outlined in Table 3.

Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides consist of long chains of monosaccharide residues (more than nine) linked with glyco-sidic bonds. Polysaccharides found in nature usually have high molecular weights and are named after the component monosaccharide. These

Table 3 Some nutritionally important oligosaccharides

Class

Species

Significance

Maltoses

Maltotriose,

Constituent of starch

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