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The Versatile Molecule: Sucrose and Its Applications

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Sucrose, or table sugar, is a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose, linked by an α-1,2-glycosidic bond. It's a non-reducing sugar with a formula C12H22O11, crucial for energy in humans and widely used in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics for its solubility and stability. Its hydrolysis produces invert sugar, beneficial in confectionery and brewing.

Exploring the Structure and Function of Sucrose

Sucrose, widely known as table sugar, is a disaccharide prevalent in plants and holds significant interest in the study of organic chemistry. This carbohydrate is composed of two monosaccharides—glucose and fructose—joined by an α-1,2-glycosidic bond, which connects the anomeric carbon of glucose to the second carbon of fructose. With the molecular formula C12H22O11, sucrose is synthesized in plants through a dehydration reaction, where a molecule of water is eliminated as the monosaccharides combine. As a primary source of energy, sucrose is metabolized by humans and contributes to the sweet taste of many natural and processed foods.
White crystalline substance in a Petri dish on reflective steel surface, with beaker, amber candies and fresh fruit on laboratory background.

Chemical Characteristics of Sucrose

The molecular configuration of sucrose, with its 12 carbon, 22 hydrogen, and 11 oxygen atoms, imparts distinctive properties. It is classified as a non-reducing sugar because it lacks free aldehyde or ketone groups, which are typically involved in redox reactions. This absence is due to the glycosidic bond between the monosaccharides, which stabilizes the structure and prevents the open-chain forms necessary for reducing activity. Nevertheless, sucrose can be hydrolyzed into its constituent sugars, glucose and fructose, under acidic conditions or enzymatic action, both of which are reducing sugars and can engage in redox reactions.

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Molecular formula of sucrose

C12H22O11, indicating 12 carbon, 22 hydrogen, and 11 oxygen atoms.


Type of glycosidic bond in sucrose

α-1,2-glycosidic bond, linking anomeric carbon of glucose to the second carbon of fructose.


Sucrose's role in human metabolism

Primary energy source, metabolized into glucose and fructose, contributes to sweetness in foods.


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