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Medical Definition of Stachyose

Stachyose is a tetrasaccharide consisting of two α-D-galactose units, one α-D-glucose unit, and one β-D-fructose unit sequentially linked as gal(α1→6)gal(α1→6)glc(α1↔2β)fru. Together with related oligosaccharides such as raffinose, Stachyose occurs naturally in numerous vegetables (e.g. green beans, soybeans and other beans) and other plants.
Stachyose is less sweet than sucrose, at about 28% on a weight basis. It is mainly used as a bulk sweetener or for its functional oligosaccharide properties. Stachyose is not completely digestible by humans and delivers 1.5 to 2.4 kcal/g (6 to 10 kJ/g).
Raffinose, stachyose and verbascose are non-digestible short-chain carbohydrates or oligosaccharides. Humans do not have enzymes to digest them, so they pass unchanged to the colon where the normal intestinal bacteria ferment them to gases (methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen), which can cause abdominal bloating in some people. The enzyme alpha-galactosidase that can break them down and thus prevent gas after eating beans is available as an over-the-counter supplement.
Stachyose Tetrasaccharide sugar composed of two units of galactose and one each of fructose and glucose. Not hydrolysed in the human digestive tract but fermented by intestinal bacteria. Present in legumes; gives rise to the flatulence commonly associated with eating beans. Also known as mannotetrose and lupeose.
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