What Is Sucrose & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-representation of Sucrose (src)

Sucrose is what we usually call common sugar. Sucrose's main task is to sweeten food.

Much of the sugars consumed today are hidden in processed foods that are not considered sweet.

It is easy to over-consume sugars, especially when it are hidden.

That is not good from a nutritional and health perspective.

Sucrose has several side effects that can potentially harm your health, especially if you over-consume it.

Table of Contents

Sucrose Is Common Sugar

Sucrose is the same as common sugar, also called table sugar. It’s a disaccharide.

Sucrose is the most abundant disaccharide in nature. (source )

Sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of one glucose and one fructose molecule. Which means that sucrose consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Sucrose is a common sweetener in beverages, particularly soft drinks, and as such, is used in many food products including confectionery, baked goods, and ice cream.

Why Do We Use Sucrose?

Sucrose interacts with foods in many different ways.

The first function of sucrose is to sweeten food. Sucrose enhances the overall flavor of a food or drink by creating a balance between acidity and bitterness.

When sucrose is reduced in food, the acidity may need to be adjusted using different acids or acidity regulators.

Another function of sugar in foods is that it can prevent the growth of microorganisms by binding to water, making it less available for microbial growth. (source )

Sucrose occurs in only small amounts in natural foods. Commercial sucrose is obtained from sugar cane and sugar beets.

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that they have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10%, preferably under 5%, of total energy intake, reduces the risk of overweight, obesity, and tooth decay. (source )

Sucrose has many side-effects that can affect your health. You see them in Sucrose: One Research-Backed Benefit & 9 Side-Effects .

Sugar Consumption In US

Americans consume about 270 calories of sugar per day, which is more than 13% of total calories from added sugars.

Intake is especially high among children, adolescents, and young adults.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommends consumption of less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars. (source )

Foods You Can Find Sucrose In

Two pieces of dark chocolate on a plate
Dark chocolate contain sucrose

You find Sucrose mostly in sweets, beverages, and baked products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most sucrose, we recommend you use our tool. Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain sucrose.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.