In addition to a yet-to-be published study showing arabinose to have an inhibiting effect on maltase, in vitro studies have shown l-arabinose to exert an inhibiting effect on small-intestinal sucrase and maltase and the consumption of a sucrose-rich drink containing l-arabinose to exert positive effects on postprandial blood glucose, insulin and C-peptide responses in humans. However, the effects of adding l-arabinose to mixed meals on the indices of glucose control are unknown. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the positive effects of l-arabinose added to a sugar drink could be reproduced in subjects consuming a mixed meal containing sucrose and/or starch from wheat flour. A total of seventeen healthy men participated in study 1, a randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial. In this study, the subjects consumed two different breakfast meals containing sucrose and starch from wheat flour (meal A) or starch from wheat flour (meal B) supplemented with 0, 5 and 10 % l-arabinose by weight after a 12 h fast. A total of six healthy men participated in study 2, a randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial. In this study, the subjects also consumed meal B served in two different textures and a liquid meal with maltose supplemented with 0 and 20 % l-arabinose. In addition, 1·5 g of paracetamol was chosen as an indirect marker to assess gastric emptying. Postprandial plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide concentrations were measured regularly for 3 h. The results of the present study showed that the peak plasma concentration, time to reach peak plasma concentration or AUC values of glucose, insulin and C-peptide were not altered after consumption of the test meals. Overall, it was not possible to reproduce the beneficial effects of l-arabinose added to sucrose drinks when l-arabinose was mixed in a solid or semi-solid mixed meal.