Characteristics of fructose
The fructose (C6H12O6) is known as "fruit sugar". It is a type of sugar or carbohydrate, belonging to the class of simple carbohydrates. Among these, belongs to the group of monosaccharides, That's to say those formed by a single molecule of sugar. (More information on the simple carbohydrates in the listing above)
Fructose dissolves slightly in water and its flavor is very sweet. In fact it is the natural carbohydrate that that has more sweetness beating sucrose (sugar cane or sugar beet).
Fructose contributes 4 kcal per gram, that is to say 400 kcal per 100 g.
Where does fructose come from?
Fructose can be found in many foods. The main ones are:
- In the fruits and fruit juices: (See foods rich in fructose in the listing above)
- In table sugar or sucrose: in this case it appears together with glucose.
- Crystallized pure form: It is obtained from starch of cereals, especially from the starch of the maize, although rice and wheat are also used for this but less often. From these starches glucose is obtained, which is subsequently crystallized by enzymes to get fructose. This product contains about 98% pure fructose, so it has a higher sweetening power than other sugars. It is 20 times sweeter than cane sugar and 5 times sweeter than glucose. It is used as a sweetener in beverages and foods and as a natural sugar substitute.
- Corn syrup: Also known as glucose-fructose syrup. Following the above process is obtained pure fructose. Then mixed with the desired ratio of glucose to form a product that can replace sugar as table sugar. Normally the ratio is usually 42% fructose and 58% glucose. Another combination which can be found is 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
- Honey: It is rich in sugars, mainly fructose and glucose, which often occur in a composition similar to corn syrup (55% fructose compared with 45% glucose) is not necessary to add that in addition to carbohydrates, honey contains other components that make it a special sweetener properties higher than other sugars.
- Molasses: It is the residue from the extraction of sugar cane and sugar beet.
- Agave nectar: A sweetener that is obtained in Mexico from plants of the agave genus. It contains proportions of up to 92% fructose and 8% glucose. It is used to sweeten dishes, especially vegetarian dishes and cold drinks.
Fructose in the diet
Until recently, fructose was considered as a sugar, much "safer" than other simple sugars. According to this opinion, fructose produced little effect on the level of blood sugar and stimulated insulin production. For this reason, it was advised for the diet of the people with diabetes and in the diets for losing weight. New studies have questioned the supposed advantages of fructose.
More information on the properties of the fructose in the listing above