E-Book 05 - Organic Compounds Essential to Human Functioning

4. Carbohydrates

4.2. Disaccharides

A disaccharide is a pair of monosaccharides. Disaccharides are formed via dehydration synthesis, and the bond linking them is referred to as a glycosidic bond (glyco- = “sugar”). Three disaccharides (shown in Figure) are important to humans. These are sucrose, commonly referred to as table sugar; lactose, or milk sugar; and maltose, or malt sugar. As you can tell from their common names, you consume these in your diet; however, your body cannot use them directly. Instead, in the digestive tract, they are split into their component monosaccharides via hydrolysis.

Three Important Disaccharides
This figure shows the structure of sucrose, lactose, and maltose.
Figure 02. All three important disaccharides form by dehydration synthesis.


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