What is sugar? It is basically carbohydrates which come in different forms. You must have heard people talking about how you should avoid feeding kids sugar because it can make them hyperactive. Have you ever wondered why that’s true? Well, it’s basically because these are the basic form of fuel for the body. With their high-energy content, they are used as the main energy reserves in both animals and plants.
When we hear the word “sugar,” most people believe that it’s only referred to the white granular powder usually put in to sweetened edible items up. However, that’s not always the case. There are several different types of sugars and this post will give you an idea about each of them.
Types of sugar
There are several different types of sugars; however, to understand them, you need to first understand the classification. The three main categories of carbohydrates that you need to understand are: Monosaccharide, Disaccharides and Polysaccharides. However, this post will only focus on mono and disaccharides.
These are those sugars that cannot be broken into any other elements which is why they are termed as the basic sugar groups. These are the simplest sugars you could come across and they are normally termed as sweet sugars which are also soluble in water. Some examples are:
These are termed as “fruit sugar” since they are essentially found in fruits and honey. This sugar belongs to the Ketone group and can undergo reactions to form a disaccharide, sucrose.
Glucose is the basic energy source for animals and since they are able to be used for the production of ATP, all other types of sugars are required to be converted into glucose during digestion. This is normally found in vegetables including beetroot and onions.
This is the sugar normally found in human milk. While they are often confused for lactose, it’s important to note that lactose is generally made up of Galactose as well as Glucose.
Disaccharides are the sugars that are often made up of two monosaccharides joined together through the process of condensation. The water is removed and through a glycosidic bond, a disaccharide is formed. Here are a few examples of disaccharides:
*Note: Disaccharides may be water soluble but they cannot be absorbed into the body unless they are broken into their monosaccharide components first.
(Glucose + Fructose)
These sugars are usually found stored in plants. That’s usually because they can easily be transported and stored unlike glucose. Additionally, these sugars are much more difficult to break down which means they provide the most energy content to plants.
(Glucose + Galactose)
As mentioned earlier, Galactose is normally the building blocks of Lactose which means these sugars are often found in milk and dairy products.
(Glucose + Glucose)
These sugars are known as “Malt Sugar” and are found in cereals like Barley as well as malted drinks. Being comprised of two glucose monosaccharides, these possess the most energy content as compared to others.
These are basically the major differences between most major sugars that you need to know about. However, if you’re interested in understanding more about sugars, you can simply contact Watson Int., a company majorly devoted to synthesizing the best chemical products of any kind.