Sucrose is commonly known as table sugar. It also takes on the name saccharose. Sucrose is a disaccharide which is glucose and fructose combined. Sucrose has the molecular formula of C12H22O11. It plays a major role in human nutrition and is formed through plant life not animal life. Sucrose has chemical and physical properties that are interesting to know and understand.
Use of Sucrose
Sucrose is mainly used as a food sweetener the world over. Sucrose is the important sugar in plants. Sucrose is found in the phloem sap. Sucrose is taken from sugar beet or sugar cane, then is purified and crystallized. Sucrose is prominent in food preparations because it sweetens the food and because of the functional value of sucrose. Sucrose aids the structure of many foods like biscuits, cookies, ice cream, and other foods. Sucrose also acts as a preservative. It keeps the food that the world knows as junk food thriving.
How Sucrose is Made
Plants make sugar or sucrose through the process known as photosynthesis. Pores in leaves pull in the carbon dioxide from the air. The plant absorbs water through its roots. Carbon dioxide and water absorption come together and make sugar by utilizing the energy from the sun. A substance named chlorophyll aids in this process. The color of chlorophyll is green. This color allows chlorophyll to soak up the energy from the sun at quicker rate. And this is the process that gives plants their green color. Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction. The written equation of photosynthesis is:
12 CO2 + 11 H2O = C12 H22O11 + 12 O2, yielding carbon dioxide + water = sucrose + oxygen.
Physical Properties of Sucrose
In its pure state, sucrose is fine and colorless. It is odor-free and is a crystalline powder with a sweet taste. Sucrose is not damaged by air. The large crystals that produce rock candy are formed from water solutions of sucrose. At 186 degrees Celsius, sucrose will melt and decompose and yields a caramel formation.
Chemical Properties of Sucrose
Sucrose finely divided is hygroscopic (changed or altered by the absorption of moisture) and can absorb up to 1% of moisture. Sucrose does not reduce Fehling's soln, form an oszone, or show mautarotation. Dil acids and invertase (yeast enzyme) will hydrolyze sucrose to glucose and fructose. It is fermentable but will resist bacterial decomposition highly concentrated. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen make up the compound of sucrose when combined.
Reaction to the Body
Sucrose gives a fast energy boost to the body. It brings blood glucose up at a rapid pace once food is ingested. With that being the case; pure sucrose cannot be a part of healthy human diet if used excessively. Sucrose is a carbohydrate in its purest sense. It has four kilocalories per gram. Therefore, even in the smallest amounts sucrose can contribute to obesity.
- Photo Credit freerangestock.com
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