Saturday, August 31, 2013

My favorite molecue: Sucrose

One of my favorite organic molecules is sucrose, which is known as table sugar. I love this organic molecule, because it occurs naturally in every fruit and vegetable. It is the major product of photosynthesis from sugarcane and sugar beets. The basic formula for sucrose is C12H12O11. The glucose and fructose are joined by an oxygen bridge in the alpha orientation. It contains one six member ring of glucose and the five member ring of fructose.
The word sucrose came from the mid-19th century combining the Latin word sucrum meaning sugar and the chemical suffix -ose. The history of sucrose came from a story of the army of Alexander the Great. They were halted on the banks of the river Indus and saw people in the Indian subcontinent growing sugarcane and making a powder form. Greek soldiers carried this to their mainland, however, it remained a limited crop. The product increased after the Portuguese first cultivated sugarcane in Brazil in 1532. The usage of sugar greatly increased since. It is used in tea, to bake cakes and confectionery, as well as in chocolate. 


  1. How could you not love sucrose??? Originally, I decided to read your post about sucrose because I figured that it'd revolve around candy and sweet things. I didn't expect that it would be so rich in history as well as a chemically interesting structure. Thanks for the interesting read!

  2. Who doesn't love Sucrose. I mean its sweet. This post was very enlightening it me. I didn't know sugar became popular in the 19th century. I always thought it has been around for much much longer