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General information: Sucrose (table sugar) is a disaccharide consisting of -> glucose and -> fructose. Sucrose is produced and stored in plants as an energy source. Two important sugar crops are used worldwide: sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and sugar beets (Beta vulgaris). Some minor commercial sugar crops include the sugar palm (Arenga pinnata), the sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and sorghum (Sorghum vulgare). Around 900 B.C., Arabs introduced sugarcane into the mediterranean area. Much later, at the beginning of the 19th century, sugar beet was used to isolate sucrose. Sugar cane is mainly grown in the southern hemisphere, whereas sugar beets are grown in the cooler climates of the northern hemisphere.

Dietetics: The normal table sugar causes a slower rise of the blood sugar level than glucose. For diabetics: if you are well adjusted, the intake of up to 30 g/day is allowed. Tip: 4 sugar cubes (each 3 g) are equivalent to one bread unit (carbohydrate unit). One unit equals 10-12 g sucrose.

Chemistry: Sucrose belongs to the disaccharides, which each consist of two monosaccharides. Table sugar (sucrose) has the elemental formula C12H22O11.
The yellowish raw sugar has to be cleaned of rests of syrup in order to become the pure white sugar used as foodstuff. Soluted in water, sucrose rotates polarized light clockwise (+65°). Hydrolysed sucrose is called invert sugar and consists of glucose and fructose in equal amounts. This mixture rotates polarized light counter clockwise (-20°). Thus a conversion of the rotation direction can be observed after hydrolysis of sucrose (= inversion).
Usage: Lots of different table sugars consist mainly of pure sucrose (examples are given below).