How Much Do You Know About Sugar


When it comes to sugar, the first thing people will think is food such as pastries which contains energy. Generally, the so-called sugar usually refers to carbohydrates containing glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, oligosaccharides such as d-raffinose, stachyose, polysaccharides such as starch, glycogen, dietary fiber etc. In a narrower sense, it usually refers to the food which has a sweet feeling such as a sweetener carbohydrate, such as sucrose, glucose, etc.

Starch in food is generally for human consumption for energy. In the human body, it will firstly be converted into the presence of starch-converting enzyme hydrolysis, and then to maltose in the next step.Finally, maltose can be hydrolyzed into glucose. So, starch will eventually be converted to glucose in the human body for better absorption. If starch content in food is high, the glucose level will rise sharply after consumption. The absorption rate of monosaccharides varies. Compared with the absorption rage of glucose which can be referred as 100, the rate of galactose is 110 and the fructose is 70. So, in case of a low blood sugar, dextrose injection or sugar water can quickly raise the blood glucose of a patient.


Pure cane sugar is colourless and it forms transparent crystals. It is usually extracted from sugar cane and beet and is soluble in water. It can be used as food seasoning. When heated to more than 200 ℃ it will turn into brown caramel syrup.

Maltose were originally found from the malt sugars, and it is also called as malt fermentation of sugar. it exists in the form of crystal and is soluble in water. Maltose is the basic unit of starch. It is one of the important sugars in food raw materials. Foods made from it include sorghum syrup, fudge, sutang, Sesame sugar etc.

Another important type of sugar is xylitol. In nature, there is a wide range of xylitol existing in many food such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Commodity xylitol is achieved by deep processing of agricultural crops such as sugar cane. Xylitol has the same sweetness as sucrose, and it can absorb a lot of heat when dissolved in water. So, it can produce a pleasant cool feeling in the mouth. Xylitol will not be used by bacteria in the mouth, and thus will not generate acid can can prevent the formation of tooth decay. Its metabolism will not be regulated by the insulin and will not cause the blood glucose levels to rise. So, it will be suitable for diabetics patients as a safe sweetener.

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By Sanjay Acharya (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

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