Gardening Information, Books & Nutrition Sources
A Sugar Glossary
Here is a rundown of the various types of sugar you'll find on food and other product labels.
- Brown sugar. Sugar crystals contained in a molasses syrup, with natural flavor and color; 91 to 96 percent sucrose.
- Corn syrup. Made from cornstarch. Mostly glucose. Can have maltose.
- Dextrose. Commonly known as corn sugar and grape sugar. Naturally occurring form of glucose.
- Fructose. Sugar found in fruit and honey. Sweetest natural sugar.
- Galactose. Sugar found linked to glucose to form lactose, or milk sugar.
- Glucose. Also called dextrose. The human body's primary source of energy. Most of the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose in the body.
- High fructose corn syrup. Derived from cornstarch, usually a combination of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent sucrose. Treated with an enzyme that converts glucose to fructose, which results in a sweeter product. Used in soft drinks, baked goods, jelly, syrups, fruits and desserts.
- High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener and preservative. High-fructose corn syrup is made by changing the sugar (glucose) in cornstarch to fructose — another form of sugar. The end product is a combination of fructose and glucose. Because it extends the shelf life of processed foods and is cheaper than sugar, high-fructose corn syrup has become a popular ingredient in many sodas, fruit-flavored drinks and other processed foods.
- Honey. Sweet syrupy fluid made by bees from the nectar collected from flowers and stored in nests or hives as food. Composed of fructose and glucose.
- Lactose. Sugar found in milk and milk products that is made of glucose and galactose.
- Maltose. Also called malt sugar. Used in the fermentation of alcohol by converting starch to sugar.
- Maple syrup. A concentrated sucrose solution made from mature sugar maple tree sap that flows in spring. Mostly replaced by pancake syrup, a mixture of sucrose and artificial maple flavorings.
- Molasses. Thick syrup left after making sugar from sugarcane. Brown in color with a high sugar concentration.
- Powdered or confectioner's sugar. Granulated sugar that has been pulverized. Available in several degrees of fineness.
- Sucrose. Commonly called cane sugar, table sugar or simply sugar.
- Sugar (granulated). Refined cane or beet sugar; 100 percent sucrose.
- Turbinado sugar. Raw sugar that has been partially refined and washed.
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