|Maltase is one enzyme produced by the cells lining the small intestine to break down disaccharides. Maltose is the final
disaccharide and consists of two glucose molecules joined by an alpha glycosidic bond. It is the fundamental structural unit of glycogen and starch and is used as a nutrient and sweetener. Maltose is formed from two glucose molecules joined together at carbons one and four by a glycosidic bond. Maltose is produced from starch by hydrolysis in the presence of diastase, an enzyme present in malt. Maltose is hydrolyzed to glucose by maltase, an enzyme present in yeast. Maltose has a molecular formula of C12H22O11.
Maltose is a reducing disaccharide. Maltase is the enzyme that splits/hydrolyses maltose, malt sugar, into two separate α-glucose molecules. Maltose is the primary starch degradation product and will be further processed to alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation. Through a process called fermentation, glucose, maltose and other sugars are converted to ethanol by yeast cells in the absence of oxygen. Through an analogous process, muscle cells convert glucose into lactic acid to obtain energy while the body operates under anaerobic conditions. Failure to break down maltose in the intestine will lead to diarrhea, excessive gases, and other symptoms.