Saccharomyces Marxianus will not hydrolyse maltose, but it does attack cane sugar and ferment the products of hydrolysis.
The glucose of commerce, which may be regarded as a mixture of grape sugar, maltose and dextrins, is prepared by hydrolysing starch by boiling with a dilute mineral acid.
Thus, a form termed Photobacterium phosphorescens by Beyerinck will absorb maltose, and will become luminous if that sugar is present, whereas P. Pflugeri is indifferent to maltose.
A yeast, which saccharifies starch, it is possible to tell whether maltose or levulose and fructose are formed; if the former, only those plates containing P. phosphorescens will become luminous; if the latter, only those containing P. Pflugeri.
The freshly-expressed yeast juice causes concentrated solutions of cane sugar, glucose, laevulose and maltose to ferment with the production of alcohol and carbon dioxide, but not milk-sugar and mannose.
Of especial note is the transformation of maltose by maltase into glucose, and of cane sugar by invertase into a mixture of glucose and fructose (invert sugar); other instances are: lactose by lactase into galactose and glucose; trehalose by trehalase into glucose; melibiose by melibiase into galactose and glucose; and of melizitose by melizitase into touranose and glucose, touranose yielding glucose also when acted upon by the enzyme touranase.
The hexoses so obtained are not necessarily identical: thus cane sugar yields d-glucose and d-fructose (invert sugar); milk sugar and melibiose give d-glucose and d-galactose, whilst maltose yields only glucose.
Soc., 1903, 85, 1305), who showed that cane sugar and maltose were a-glucosides, and raffinose an a-glucoside of melibiose.
By acting with hydrochloric acid on glucose Fischer obtained isomaltose, a disaccharose very similar to maltose but differing in being amorphous and unfermentable by yeast.
Maltose, malt-sugar, maltobiose, C12H22011, is formed, together with dextrine, by the action of malt diastase on starch, and as an intermediate product in the decomposition of starch by sulphuric acid, and of glycogen by ferments.