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Spectroscopic techniques, separation techniques and their multiple combinations are the main tools used to analyze carbohydrates in foods, although some other approaches based on the use of sensors or physical methods including polarimetry, refractive index and density are also used. 

The development of new analytical approaches for separation, identification and quantification of carbohydrates is of huge importance in many research fields. Thus, knowledge on the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables, cereals and other natural food matrices is essential to determine food properties and other important characteristics like flavor, maturity, quality, authenticity, storage conditions, etc. Better knowledge on carbohydrate composition is mandatory in the new functional foods era, not only to produce healthier foods but also to be able to assess and understand their role in several functions in the human body.

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