MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: is there sugar in fruit?

Date: Tue Mar 23 13:09:45 2004
Posted By: Elizabeth Kunkel, Faculty, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Clemson University
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1078600915.Ch

As you know, sugar is a general term that is applied to a variety of 
compounds, also called saccharides.  Monosaccharides (meaning one 
saccharide molecule) include fructose, glucose, and galactose.  
Disaccharides (meaning two saccharide molecules) include sucrose, 
maltose, and lactose.  Sucrose is familiar to us as table sugar.  
Polysaccharides (meaning many saccharide molecules) include starches and 
most types of dietary fiber.  Fruit contains monosaccharides (typically 
glucose and fructose), a limited amount of the disaccharide sucrose, as 
well as fiber and some starch.  The chemical structures of the 
saccharides from fruit are the same as those saccharides from other 
sources.  According to data from the US government, about 1/2 of the 
total fructose intake and about 1/3 of the total sucrose intake for the 
average person was naturally occurring (that is, came from fruits or 


Diet and Health.  1989.  National Academy of Sciences.

Taking the Fear out of Eating.  1992.  Gallagher and Allred.  Cambridge 

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