A disaccharide is a sugar (a carbohydrate) composed of two monosaccharides.

Sucrose is a disaccharide of glucose (left) and fructose, important molecules in the body


The two monosaccharides are bonded via a condensation reaction. This bond can be between the 1-, 4-, or 6-carbon on each component monosaccharide. So, even if both component sugars are the same (e.g., glucose), different bond combinations result in disaccharides with different chemical and physical properties.

Like monosaccharides, they are crystalline, water-soluble, and sweet-tasting.

Common disaccharides

- sucrose (known as table sugar, cane sugar, saccharose, or beet sugar)
- lactose (milk sugar)
- maltose produced during the malting of barley
- Trehalose is present in fungi and insects, and has been successfully produced at an industial scale by enzymatic treatment of starch as a food ingredient.

Maltose and cellobiose are hydrolysis products of the polysaccharides, starch and cellulose, respectively.


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