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Isomaltulose (Molecule of the Month for April 2020)

Palatinose, Disaccharide, Glucose-Fructose

Isomaltulose is a disaccharide carbohydrate composed of glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose are linked by an alpha-1,6-glycosidic bond (chemical name: 6-0-α-D-glucopyranosyl-D-fructose). Isomaltulose is present in honey and sugarcane extracts. It tastes similar to sucrose (table sugar) with half the sweetness. Isomaltulose, also known by the trade name Palatinose, is manufactured by enzymatic rearrangement (isomerization) of sucrose from beet sugar. Its physical properties closely resemble those of sucrose, making it easy to use in existing recipes and processes. In nutrition, isomaltulose is a source of food energy, providing the same amount of energy as sucrose. Like sucrose, isomaltulose provides sweetness to foods, but isomaltulose is only about half as sweet as sucrose.

somaltulose is an available carbohydrate like sucrose and most other sugars or maltodextrins, in the sense that it is fully metabolised in the small intestine, and does not enter the large intestine or get excreted in urine. When eaten by humans, isomaltulose is digested completely and absorbed. Its intestinal digestion involves the enzyme isomaltase, which is located at the surface of the brush border lining the inner wall of the small intestine. This enzyme is otherwise involved in the digestion of α-1,6 linkages present in starch. The products of isomaltulose digestion are glucose and fructose, which are absorbed and enter the bloodstream. Once absorbed, the glucose and fructose follow the same metabolic pathways through the body as if they were derived from sucrose. Isomaltulose is slow to be digested and absorbed, and is therefore gradually released as glucose and fructose into the bloodstream.

Isomaltulose finds application in baked goods, pastry glazings and icings, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, dairy produce, sugar confectionery (e.g. chocolates, jellies, chewy confections and chewing or bubble gum), frozen desserts, fruit-juice beverages, malt beverages, sports beverages, energy drinks, instant drinks, and special and clinical nutrition feeds.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Isomaltulose 3D model

click on the picture of  Isomaltulose above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Isomaltulose structure
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Picture of Isomaltulose

C12 H22 O11

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for April 2020 )

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