Oligosaccharides (complex sugars) are generally chains of simple sugar molecules which result from enzymatic decomposition of starch, most (but not all) oligosaccharides are chains of glucose molecules. The decomposition process is controlled so that the conversion of starch to glucose is not complete, so that in addition to glucose, maltose and glucose longer glucose chains are included. These glucose chains are allowed for those with HFI and FM.
Compared to sugars, they are more slowly absorbed because the chains have to be split before being absorbed. The presence of oligosaccharides in the glucose syrup we use provides an additional advantage to our products.
The term "oligosaccharides" can, however, mark other types of multiple sugars. For example, fructose chains (oligofructose) have recently been widely used in low-fat yogurt as a texture improver. This type of oligosaccharide is difficult to digest and, taken in large quantities, may lead to diarrhea in those sensitive to this type of sugar. Those with Fructose Intolerance must take the utmose care with regard to these types of oligosaccharides.
Unfortunately, often the different types of oligosaccharides are confused, which results in easily digestible, natural oligosaccharides (glucose chains) being falsely discredited.