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|Molar mass||342.30 g·mol−1|
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Isomaltulose (chemical name: 6-0-α-D-glucopyranosyl-D-fructose), also known by the trade name Palatinose, is a disaccharide that is commercially manufactured enzymatically from sucrose via bacterial fermentation. It is a natural constituent of honey and sugar cane and has a sweet taste. It has been used as a sugar substitute in Japan since 1985. It is particularly suitable as a non-cariogenic sucrose replacement.
Isomaltulose is fully absorbed in the small intestine as glucose and fructose. Like sucrose, it is fully digested and provides the same caloric value of approximately 4 cal/g.
It is low-glycaemic and low-insulinemic. The effect of isomaltulose is that the glucose enters the blood at a slow rate, avoiding high peaks and sudden drops in glucose levels and therefore insulin levels as well. This leads to a more balanced and prolonged energy supply in the form of glucose.
Being low-insulinemic, isomaltulose also supports improved fat oxidation during physical activity as high insulin levels hinder the use of lipids as an energy source. As such, isomaltulose can increase the amount of fat used as energy, thus enhancing performance endurance.
Isomaltulose is tolerated like sucrose and not suitable for people with a pre-existing intolerance to fructose and those who are unable to digest sucrose.
Basically, isomaltulose has the same function as sucrose; as an energy source that keeps the human body and brain functioning. The similarities even extend to how both of these substances taste and are processed. 
Isomaltulose enters the digestive system through foods and drinks that we consume. After making it way to the small intestines, the nutrients contained in the foods and drinks is dissolved where Isomaltulose will be filtered and released. The substance then seeps into our gastro-intestine walls and enter our bloodstreams, travelling around the entire body becoming a major energy source. What differ isomaltulose from sucrose is the absorption rate of the substance which is 26-45% slower with a lower glycemic response. Seeing it in a normal statistical distribution on how it effects our blood sugar level, the Isomaltulose curve will have a slow even rise and descent with an elongated horizontal peak. To put it simply, Isomaltulose will enter and depart from the bloodstream in a slow constant speed which makes the substance stay longer in a human body than sucrose.
The outcome of staying longer makes the substance acquire the ability to give a constant and stable energy intake that devoid the body from any drastic blood sugar level and glycemic index change. Drastic changes of blood sugar and insulin level have been commonly known as Sugar Rush and Sugar Crash, these are syndromes that mostly occur in children. A basic explanation to describe both of these syndromes would be that because children have a higher sensitivity toward changes in their body, any significant shift in their body chemical composition can cause agitation and drastic change of behavior.
A constant and slow energy intake is believed[by whom?] to take care of this problem by being assimilated slowly so it won’t trigger/ignite any sudden shift in a child body chemical composition. Based on this concept, Isomaltulose is being extensively studied so as to determine how it can be used to minimize the effects of Sugar Crash and Sugar Rush.
Isomaltulose is one of the substances that won’t be dissolved immediately upon consumption. On the contrary, isomaltulose will be dissolved in a low glycemic response which ensures that the energy that has been absorbed stays longer and is constantly available.
Unlike other glucose sources that start to dissolve immediately upon intake, Isomaltulose won’t do this until it reaches further in the digestive system. The implication of this process is that Isomaltulose won’t give the tooth decaying bacteria that live in the mouth a chance to receive any energy source. Studies that have been conducted also shows that Isomaltulose won’t induce/provoke/promote obesity even though it stays in the human body longer than other glucose sources.
The brain is where isomaltulose shows a significant effect. Looking at how it works, isomaltulose plays a large role in keeping human brain energy level fulfilled. The chemical reactions that happen between isomaltulose and our body have resulted on the substance to stay longer in the brain than sucrose.
Studies have showed that a scheduled regular isomaltulose intake will be able to provide a constant uninterrupted energy source for the brain. Considering the fact that human brain never stops working, isomaltulose consumption may be significantly beneficial for the brain and body.
The brain works tirelessly around the clock to regulate breathing, maintaining heart rate and making sure that the organs are working properly. Furthermore, while we sleep at night the brain will also process the memories and experiences that we endured during the day to be used later. The hypothesis for this circumstance is that a constant supply of energy source like isomaltulose will ensure our brain will work properly even when we rest at night.
Isomaltulose has been used as a research subject for quite some time. Most recently researched is the effect it has on children aged 1-6. Commonly referred as the Golden Age, this is the age when a child is undergoing significant change and growth in their psyche and cognitive ability. These changes will result in the need for a constant and sufficient energy source, which isomaltulose is able to provide. A recent study regarding child's brain energy level has come out with the term 10/40. Apparently, although it is only weighted at 10% of their whole body, a child’s brain needs 40% of all the consumable energy the body provides.
Presumably, a lack of sufficient energy source for a child's brain will result in the loss of concentration that eventually disturbs their cognitive, personality, and creativity development. This is where isomaltulose as a glucose substitute steps in, by fulfilling the energy provision in a more constant and longer lasting manner.
Isomaltulose is used as a sucrose substitute in a number of beverage products including health drinks, energy drinks, and artificial sugars.
Because the natural substance itself is easy to disperse and does not coagulate, isomaltulose also has been used in powdered drinks product such as powdered formula milk for children.
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- Center for Regulatory Services - GRAS Notification - Exemption Claim for Isolmatulose
- FDA grants GRAS status to Palatinose sugar replacer -- April 19, 2006