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Natural sources of maltose

If you’ve ever consumed foods that have the term malt or malted in the ingredients list, there’s a good chance you’ve consumed maltose. While maltose is not found naturally in high quantities, there are a range of foods that contain this sugar including breads, wheat, peaches and energy bars. 

What is maltose?

Maltose is a disaccharide that’s made up of 2 glucose units joined together. It is found naturally in a range of different foods (like cooked sweet potato, pears and honey, for example) and also in a variety of manufactured food stuffs like beer, bread, breakfast cereals and high-maltose corn syrup. 

When we consume foods, our digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates into smaller sugar units like maltose, sucrose and lactose. These sugars are then broken down further into the monosaccharides glucose, fructose and galactose so they can be transported around the body and used as a fuel source or stored.

What are some foods that contain maltose?

There are many different foods that contain maltose either naturally or added during the manufacturing process. Below are some of the foods that contain maltose, listed from the highest amount to the lowest amount: 

  • Glucose syrup
  • Honey
  • Caramels
  • Snack bars, fruit-filled
  • White bread
  • Liquorice
  • Couscous
  • Sausage rolls (commercial)
  • Fillo pastry
  • Savoury biscuits/cracker
  • Muesli bar
  • Orange marmalade
  • Muesli
  • Crumpet
  • English muffins
  • Fish finger (commercial)
  • Soy milk
  • White flour
  • Pie (commercial)
  • Golden syrup
  • Sundried tomato
  • Water chestnuts
  • Instant coffee
  • Sponge cake (commercial)
  • Corn kernels
  • Beer
  • Bread crumbs, dry, grated, seasoned
  • Fish, fish portions and sticks, frozen, preheated
  • Honey

Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Food Composition Database – Release 1.0.

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