Digestible and Indigestible Carbohydrates : Introduction

Recent studies have mapped out the structural properties of soluble-fibre polysaccharides (e.g., κ-carrageenan, agarose and deacylated gellan) in the presence of increasing levels of co-solute with application to the confectionery and ice cream industries. One of the incentives to understand the behaviour of such systems is the prospect of providing an alternative to gelatin since the protein is increasingly falling “out of fashion” with consumers and producers alike.

Retrograded amylose (RS 3 ) that is included is the main form of resistant starch (RS) in processed foods. Lignin, a non-carbohydrate component of the dietary fibre complex is also included, as well as some tannins. These components are a very small proportion of most foods but can be substantial in some unconventional raw materials or special “fibre” preparations (25).

Making Sense of Carbohydrates

Monosaccharides include glucose, fructose, and galactose, and the disaccharides include lactose, maltose, and sucrose. The carbohydrate demands of specific sports are also a consideration in training.

Monosaccharides can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, but disaccharides need to be broken down into their monosaccharide components before they can be absorbed. Carbohydrates are important in human nutrition, often constituting the major source of calories in the diet. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, and starch are readily digested by humans. Cellulose and the other complex carbohydrates of the plant cell wall are not readily digested, but constitute useful dietary fiber.

polysaccharides. Simple carbohydrates are known as sugars and they are classified as either monosacchar-ides (one sugar molecule) or disaccharides (two sugar molecules).

Can I treat my gas with antacids?

Nondigestible oligosaccharides in general, and fructooligosaccharides in particular, are prebiotics. They have been shown to stimulate the growth of endogenous bifidobacteria, which, after a short feeding period, become predominant in human feces. Moreover, these prebiotics modulate lipid metabolism, most likely via fermentation products. By combining the rationale of pro- and prebiotics, the concept of synbiotics is proposed to characterize some colonic foods with interesting nutritional properties that make these compounds candidates for classification as health-enhancing functional food ingredients.

The use of certain analytical methods to quantify dietary fiber by nature of its indigestibility results in many other indigestible components being isolated along with the carbohydrate components of dietary fiber. These components include resistant starches and oligosaccharides along with other substances that exist within the plant cell structure and contribute to the material that passes through the digestive tract. Such components are likely to have physiological effects.

Intakes of non-starch polysaccharides (45) range from about 19g/day in some countries in Europe and North America, to nearly 30g/day in rural Africa (46-48). Cereals are again the major source of this component. Data on intake of dietary fibre, determined by methods such as that of the AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) (49) and the older Southgate method (50), are about 15-20 g/day for North America, Europe and Australia, to 25-40 g/day for countries in Asia and Africa (47, 51-53).

an indigestible complex carbohydrate is called
an indigestible complex carbohydrate is called

Leave a Reply