White, odorless, sweet-tasting powder.
Trehalose is a disaccharide, two simple sugars in one molecule. In trehalose (as in maltose), the two sugars are both glucose.
Trehalose, like maltose, is 45% as sweet as sugar. It does not brown like sugar, and has a very low hygroscopicity (moisture attraction), so it stays free-flowing and dry.
In trehalose, one glucose molecule is upside-down relative to the other. In maltose, the two glucose molecules are in the same orientation. This small difference reflects in the properties of trehalose. It does not brown when heated, it does not promote bacterial growth or tooth decay as much as maltose or sugar, and it is less attractive to moisture.
Trehalose is found in honey, breads, beer, and seafood.
Trehalose is used in foods as a sweetener, a stabilizer and thickener, and a flavor enhancer. It is also used as a cryopreservation additive, where it protects cells from the effects of freezing and drying.