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Carbohydrates in food occur as natural constituents or are added as ingredients or additives. The most important endogenous carbohydrates in food are starch, depolymerised starch, sucrose, lactose, glucose, fructose and sorbitol (digestible) and carbohydrates such as raffinose, stachyose, resistant stach, pectin, cellulose, and hemicelluloses including pentosans, fructans, chitin, and seaweed polysaccharides (indigestible). Carbohydrates added to food are often derived from raw materials, e.g. sucrose, polyols, lactose, oligosaccharides, starch and pectins or they appear in plants not usually consumed as food like exudates gums, seed gums or algal polysaccharides. Many are conversion products: chemicals such as carboxymethylcellulose, polydextrose, lactulose, enzymatic like modified starches and starch syrups or microbial like xanthan and gellan gum.

This is one of five technology theme papers produced within the concerted action 'Functional Food Science in Europe' (FUFOSE), which is part of the European Commission's Fourth Framework Programme for research and technological development.

Additional information

Authors: VORAGEN A G J, Department of Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences, Food Science Group, Wageningen Agricultural University (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: A paper published in 'Functional food science in Europe - volume 2', EUR 18591 EN, pp.41-48.
Availability: EUR-OP reference: CG-NO-18591-EN-S; price: 71 euros (set of 3 volumes). Available from EUR-OP sales agents. URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-828-4776-4 (3
Record Number: 200214682 / Last updated on: 2002-05-08
Original language: en
Available languages: en