Maltose is a malt sugar whose formula is C12H22O11. Maltose is usually formed by binding 2 glucose found in starch and glycogen. This being a rare disaccharide of nature, can be generated industrially due to the action of amylase on starch.

Some of its characteristics are to be soluble in water, hardly soluble in alcohol and that does not crystallize easily. In this note, we will mention some foods that contain maltose, its importance and side effects.

To begin with, we must point out that any type of food with the term malt in its name has maltose as one of its components. It should also be noted that this substance is a sugar that can not be found naturally in our body. This is a compound that can only be consumed by certain processed foods, mainly through starch.


Foods Rich In Maltose:

Many of the foods rich in maltose are made up of processed foods such as children’s products, milkshakes, bread and others that we will know below:

  1. French bread
  2. Wheat bread
  3. Candies
  4. Cereals and energy bars
  5. Biscuits
  6. Sweet potatoes
  7. Honey
  8. Pizza

It is also one of the most important components for the brewing and distillation of alcohol and gives them a distinct flavour to beverages with malt. However, these are not the most healthy ways to acquire this substance, here we will speak about some healthy sources. First, lets’s inform you about their functioning in nature.

How maltose works in nature

Foods that contain maltose and isomaltose help in the digestion of starch, this being one of the ways in which the plant stores glucose. Starch is the most abundant polysaccharide of plant cells, only surpassed by cellulose. The animals (and plants) digest the starch, to later turn it into glucose, a source of energy. Isomaltose is an isomer of maltose; The difference between the two substances is that isomaltose cannot be fermented.

Maltose can be formed from this starch when it decomposes, these, in turn, are digested into glucose molecules. This being the main sugar that circulates in the blood of mammals and at the same time the preferred fuel of the nervous system and of the brain. It is one of the predominant forms of carbon exported from plants with chloroplasts at night, from the decomposition of starch. Let’s have a look at what Wikipedia says about it

Foods that contain maltose:

Although this sutancia is used to ferment in brewing by the use of yeast, however, most alcoholic beverages do not contain maltose.

What are the foods that contain maltose and what are the benefits it brings to our body:

Foods with maltose are made up of bread products, sweets, cereal bars, energy bars, bagels, cakes, processed cereals, cookies, sweet potatoes, honey and pizza.

However, excessive consumption of these products is not healthy.

On the other hand, there are not many traditional foods that naturally have it, since this substance usually appears when starchy foods are consumed, such as grains of cereals, potatoes, corn, legumes, nuts and the occasional fruit and vegetable.

You must bear in mind that these foods when cooked have an increase in their maltose content. Being these the most healthy ways to obtain this substance, being its consumption a lot of help to have a healthy skin.

Among foods with maltose, we can find molasses, which is the product that gives a distinctive flavour to baked goods. It is also present in some beverages such as hot chocolate with milk, or as milkshakes.

Maltose is widely used in bread because of its faculties as a repellent to microbes and its complementary characteristics to yeast. That is why every bread you eat, sandwiches, hamburgers, and even tortillas, you will be eating maltose sources.

Where are the sources of maltose?

This substance is a sugar that is derived from grains that have a high content of starch and is widely used in confectionery, beer production and bread. It is also part of the disaccharides, it is created when two simple sugars are combined, that is, maltose is a combination of malt and glucose.

The sugars provide the body with about 4 kilocalories of energy per gram, disaccharides such as maltose have to be broken down into monosaccharide by digestive enzymes before they can be absorbed by the small intestine and sent to the bloodstream. Out of the different types of sugar, Maltose is the least common one which is commonly used to distil alcohol.

Our body digests the disaccharides that are present in the food and divides them into 2 individual sugar molecules.  The small intestine subsequently absorbs these molecules. Maltose does not have a specific function in the body. The manufacturers convert maltose into a sugar disaccharide alcohol called matidol as a bulk sweetener in powder and syrup.

Disadvantages of Maltose consumption

While this sugar has its advantages, excessive consumption of maltose foods can lead to some serious health problems such as:

👉Diabetes problems

👉An excessive increase in blood glucose in our body


👉Cardiovascular problems.


It is essential to know that while the consumption of certain foods like maltose, has certain benefits for our body.  It can also be extremely harmful to health if consumed incorrectly or in excessive doses. Do not forget that many of the foods that cause cancer or cavities occur through the intake of sweets and processed products, these being also the main sources of maltose.

Adverse reactions and contraindications

Some people may suffer from certain genetic disorders that prevent them from metabolizing certain carbohydrates. An example of this is the deficiency of sucrose-isomaltase, a problem that can cause the lack of an enzyme or a total deficiency to digest this substance.

The consumption of carbohydrates rich in maltose can cause chronic diarrhoea, a poor absorption of nutrients and in more severe cases the hypercalcemia. Do not forget that you should always consult a trained professional about your diet changes and health problems.


The intolerance to maltose-containing foods is caused by a deficiency in the production of maltase enzymes, this is very similar to what happens to people suffering from lactose intolerance, casein and others, due to the null production of lactase enzymes.

The symptoms suffered by people with food intolerance with maltose include gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal distention, vomiting, nausea and cramps, or respiratory tract infections. Intolerance to maltose and isomaltose are usually combined with saccharose intolerance, this is very similar to congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency. A doctor or dietician usually treats maltose with a prescribed diet.

Also, all those people who have genetic disorders with the metabolism of carbohydrates, such as deficiency of sucrase-isomaltase, may not have or have a deficiency of enzymes necessary to digest maltose.

Excess consumption of the carbohydrates that provide maltose or that are the precursors of maltose can cause chronic diarrhoea, malabsorption of nutrients, and in some cases, hypercalcemia.

Before consuming foods with maltose you should receive the advice of a health professional. They will make a diagnosis and help you manage the medical conditions you are going through.


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