We recognize carbohydrates as carbs and sugars. Carbs constitute 80% of the food calories intake of humankind. The major food ingredients consumed by the human is starch, providing 75-80% of the total food calories intake.

Carbohydrate, a term derived from the German ‘kohlenhydrat’ and similar to the French ‘hydrate de carbone’, expresses the early determined elemental composition of Cx(H2O)y, which signified a composition containing carbon along with hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as in water.

Carbohydrates can provide desirable texture, pleasant mouth sensation, and universally enjoyed sweetness. Of the numerous variety and enormous amounts of carbohydrates, humans can digest only starch, glycogen, and certain dextrans. Glycogen is the carbohydrates energy reserve of the body, stored mainly in the liver and with small concentrations in muscle. Glycogen contributes little as a food source of metabolic energy.

Since human body can’t assimilate intact carbohydrates, these carbohydrates must be hydrolyzed to more simple structure carbohydrates, monosaccharides by the enzyme in our digestive system of our body. The group of nondigestible carbohydrates is known as dietary fiber.

Carbohydrates are much more economical and abundant source of food calories than either fats or proteins. However the utilization of carbohydrates as an energy source is of significant advantage in that they may, under normal conditions, promote utilization of fat. This will tend to weight loss. Dietary carbohydrates also permit protein to be used for other important purposes such as replenishment of tissue proteins.

In addition to the consumption of carbohydrates for fulfilling food calories need, people alike appreciate the sweetness of simple structure sugars such as sucrose and glucose. The tendency toward greater consumption of sweet sugars in place of starchy foods may contribute to physiological changes such as an increase in dental caries. This has led to a search for the basis of sweetness and a search for safe, non cariogenic, or even nonmetabolizable sweeteners.