When a mother calms her restless, fussy child with a bit of bread, she is taking advantage of the fact that starches are basically nothing more than biopolymeric sugar. As the child munches along, saliva cleaves the starch molecules, turning chains of sugars (polysaccharides) into simple sugars (monosaccharides) – the latter tastes sweet, and the child calms down. This phenomenon makes it all the more surprising that starch molecules, of all things, are reportedly capable of balancing our blood sugar levels. But that’s exactly what cyclodextrins can do. Cyclodextrins are starch molecules made up of repeating glucose units that are linked together in a ring to form a central cavity – a structure that allows them to reversibly incorporate other substances such as vitamins or fat molecules. WACKER harnesses this ability by using cyclodextrins as health-promoting additives in foods. WACKER is the only company in the world that uses a production-scale enzymatic process to manufacture all three naturally occurring cyclodextrins – alpha, beta and gamma.
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