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Trehalulose (Molecule of the Month for February 2020)

Fructose and Glucose

Trehalulose is a disaccharide made up of a molecule of fructose bound to a molecule of glucose. Like isomaltulose, it is a structural isomer of sucrose that is present in small quantities in honey.It makes up 50% of sugars in the honeydew of silverleaf whitefliesand is synthesised from sucrose by some bacteria,such as Protaminombacter rubrum. Because the anomeric carbon of the fructose moiety is not involved in the glycosidic bond, it is a reducing sugar.

Because the fructose and glucose molecules are linked by a 1,1 glycosidic bond, which is more stable than the 1,2 glycosidic bond in sucrose, it is broken down more slowly than sucrose in the small intestine, giving it a lower glycemic index.

In 2020 researchers at the University of Queensland found that some species of stingless bee in Australia, Malaysia, and Brazil produce honey containing between 13% and 44% trehalulose rather than the usual glucose and fructose. The university's findings supported the long-standing claims of Indigenous Australian people that native honey is beneficial for human health.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Trehalulose 3D model

click on the picture of  Trehalulose above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Trehalulose structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Trehalulose

C12 H22 O11

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

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