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carbohydrates whose molecules contain two to ten monosaccharide groups connected by glycoside bonds; accordingly, a distinction is made among disaccharides, trisaccharides, and so on. Many free oligosaccharides are found in plants, which are an important source of these substances (for example, sucrose is obtained from beets or sugarcane). Cow’s milk contains the disaccharide lactose; human milk contains, in addition, a number of oligosaccharides, including hexasaccha-rides. Oligosaccharides can be obtained by enzymatic or partial acid hydrolysis of polysaccharides. A number of natural oligosaccharides and their analogues can be obtained chemically.