Sucrose, Fructose, Glucose

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Sucrose (C12H22O11) is commonly known as regular table sugar and is the predominant ingredient in icing sugar, brown sugar, caster sugar, cane sugar and raw sugar. Sucrose has a relatively high Glycemic Index (GI) rating (64) suggesting it's rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and has an immediate response within the body's digestive system. When sucrose is listed in an ingredients listing, it's referring to sugar.

Fructose (C6H12O6) = natural fruit sugar, occurs naturally in honey, fruit and vegetables and is the sweetest of all naturally occurring sugars. It has the lowest GI (19) of all natural sugars indicating it's released slowly into the bloodstream and is longer sustaining than sugars with higher GIs. Like lactose, it's intrinsic to fruits and vegetables so won't appear as an ingredient.

Glucose (C6H12O6) = the most commonly used energy source in the biological world. This is the simplest form of carbohydrate and is almost always found accompanied with sucrose, lactose and fructose, thus adding sweetness to foods. Glucose is the main fuel for the body and is essential to brain function. Glucose may be referred to as dextrose.

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Lactose or milk sugar provides milk and dairy products with sweetness. It's also found in human breast milk, at a higher concentration than cows' milk. Lactose makes up approximately 2-8% of milk. The name comes from the Latin word for milk 'lac' and 'ose' implying sugars. As lactose is inherent in milk you won't see it included in an ingredients listing.

Agave nectar
or syrup is a sweetener that's approximately 1.4 - 1.6 times sweeter than honey and is often substituted for sugar or honey in recipes (being from a natural source it's a vegan alternative to honey). It consists mainly of fructose and glucose and has a GI comparable to fructose. Agave can be purchased as in ingredient from health food shops or found in commercially produced foods as a sweetener.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)is a manufactured liquid sweetener commonly used in the food industry sector. It's predominantly found in soft drinks but may be present in yoghurt, breakfast cereal, muesli and cereal bars and even bread and processed meats. It's frequently used as a replacement to sugar/sucrose due to its liquid form (easier to transport and blend), relative affordability and because it's sweeter than sucrose.

Inverted Sugar Syrup is a manufactured sweetener commonly added to baked goods and confectionary. Upon heating it results in a golden colour, hence the addition to biscuits, cakes, baked goods, chocolate and sweet treats.

Maltodextrin is an easily digestible food additive that's less sweet than other sugar alternatives (and is subsequently lower in calories). It's used in the production of powdered drinks, dried soup and dessert mixes and can also function as a thickener so you may find it in sauces and dressings.

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Corn Syrup is a syrup primarily consisting of glucose so may be referred to as glucose syrup. It's added to sweets and confectionery to add volume, enhance flavour and prevent crystallisation of sugar. However it can also function as a thickener, sweetener and humectant (an additive that enhances freshness by keeping foods moist). Like HFCS, corn syrup is commonly found in mass produced foods because it's significantly cheaper than sugar.

Don't forget that cupboard ingredients like maple syrup, golden syrup, honey, treacle, molasses and fruit juice concentrate also serve as sweeteners and may be listed as ingredients on food labels. If a food claims to have 'no added sugars' none of the above listed products should be listed, with the exception of fructose and lactose, which are naturally occurring.

Kombucha fermentation breaks down sucrose into fructose that feed the yeast that feed the bacteria that then feed us ….. A-W-E-S-O-M-E !!

We thought you might like to know these facts about all the different sugars so we added this page for reference purposes :-)

NOTE: Kombucha is a functional food product not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease.