Also known as table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, and saccharose
Sucrose is a disaccharide. This means it is composed of two sugar molecules, a glucose and a fructose, linked together. It occurs naturally in sugar cane, sugar beets, and most fruits. When it is eaten, it is digested to release glucose and fructose.
Sucrose is sweet, with fast onset and minimal lingering. The sweet taste is very clean, with no bitterness or other off taste.
Sucrose, like other carbohydrates, provides 4 calories per gram.
Sucrose has high water solubility. In acidic conditions, it is partly converted to glucose and fructose. In food products, sucrose provides bulk and binds moisture.
Sucrose is ubiquitous in the food supply. It is readily digested, producing fructose and glucose, which can be metabolized for energy. Sucrose can contribute to dental caries. Excessive consumption can lead to obesity.
For most of human history, sucrose was consumed mainly as a component of plant products in the diet. Crystalline sucrose was a luxury item until the 1700s. Only since the industrial age has sucrose availability contributed to widespread obesity.