Encyclopedia > Sucrose

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Sucrose is what most people mean when they say sugar.

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Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of one molecule of glucose connected via an α(1-2) glycosidic bond to one molecule of fructose.


Sucrose is generally extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet and then purified and crystallized. Other (minor) commercial sources are sorghum and sugar maples.

Health effects

Sucrose has several adverse health effects. The most common is tooth decay, in which bacteria in the teeth turn sucrose into acid that attacks tooth enamel. Sucrose has a high calorie content and is also believed to cause obesity. People with diabetes need to control their intake of sucrose.

Sugar substitutes

Because of the health effects of sucrose, several substitutes have been developed, although none appear to be as versatile as sugar in cooking and they may have other health consequences.

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