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Glucose, galactose & Co .: an overview of the types of sugar

All the better that there are alternatives to conventional household sugar. Here are the most popular types of sugar in the overview. Depending on its origin, the chemical composition is different - and so is its effect.

Grape sugar (glucose)

Glucose is a simple sugar and is better known as grape sugar. It is a natural sugar found in many sweet fruits and honey. Glucose is used in the body as an energy supplier in the blood.

Fruit sugar (fructose)

The natural fruit sugar, which is found in high concentrations, especially in fruits, is also called fructose. It is quite healthy and has about twice the sweetness of glucose.

Milk sugar (lactose)

Lactose is only found in milk and breast milk. It is obtained industrially from whey and consists of grape sugar and mucus sugar. It is about a quarter of the sweetness of granulated sugar.

Mucous sugar (galactose)

Galactose is also called mucus sugar. In addition to glucose and fructose, the third simple sugar is contained in breast milk, but not in household sugar - and therefore less interesting for you.

Malt sugar (maltose)

Malt sugar occurs in germinating grain by breaking down starch. The double sugar consists of two parts dextrose and is less sweet than cane sugar.

Corn sugar or corn syrup (isoglucose)

Industrially manufactured foods often contain a fructose-enriched syrup made from corn starch (high-fructose corn syrup or HFCS). Corn sugar is made when fructose and glucose combine chemically.


Honey is made up of natural fructose and glucose. The bee nectar also has water, minerals, proteins, amino acids and vitamins. Its high sweetening power is twice as strong as normal household sugar.

Agave syrup and agave syrup

Both consist of glucose and fructose, although the proportion of fructose predominates. The production process is similar to that of other types of sugar. However, the juice of Mexican agaves is tapped here and boiled down to make syrup.

Starch sugar

The name stands for types of sugar made from starch (long glucose chains) such as maltodextrin, corn syrup and isoglucose. Starch sugar is often used industrially as an alternative to table sugar, while maltodextrin is used, for example, to make sports drinks or carbohydrate gels.