Cellobiose

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cellobiose is a disaccharide with the formula C12H22O11. It is a type of sugar that is produced when cellulose, a polysaccharide, is broken down. It is composed of two glucose molecules linked by a β(1→4) bond.

Structure and Properties[edit | edit source]

Cellobiose is a disaccharide that consists of two glucose units linked by a β(1→4) glycosidic bond. This type of bond is significant because it is the same type of bond that links glucose units in cellulose. The presence of this bond gives cellobiose its unique properties and distinguishes it from other disaccharides.

Cellobiose is a non-reducing sugar, which means it does not have a free aldehyde or ketone group. This property makes it different from glucose, which is a reducing sugar.

Production and Uses[edit | edit source]

Cellobiose is produced during the hydrolysis of cellulose, a process that can be catalyzed by certain types of enzymes known as cellulases. These enzymes are produced by certain types of microorganisms, including some species of bacteria and fungi.

In the industrial sector, cellobiose is used in the production of biofuels. It is also used in the food industry as a sweetener, although it is not as sweet as sucrose.

In the medical field, cellobiose can be used as a diagnostic tool. For example, it can be used to test for the presence of certain types of bacteria in the human gut that are capable of breaking down cellulose.

Health Effects[edit | edit source]

While cellobiose is not harmful in small amounts, excessive consumption can lead to digestive issues. This is because humans lack the necessary enzymes to break down cellobiose. However, some gut bacteria are capable of breaking down cellobiose, and these bacteria can proliferate if large amounts of cellobiose are consumed, leading to digestive issues.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD