Fructose - C6H12O6

What is Fructose?

Fructose, also called fruit sugar, is the only naturally occurring ketohexose . It is also referred to as levulose because it has an optical rotation that is strongly levorotatory.

Fructose is a simple ketonic monosaccharide. Monosaccharides are the fundamental units of carbohydrates that cannot be further reduced to simpler compounds. They are classified based on the functional group attached to the carbohydrate.

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An aldose is a carbohydrate that contains an aldehyde group and ketose contains a ketonic group. It is also called fruit sugar. Fructose along with glucose and galactose are three monosaccharides that are an important part of our diet.

Discovery of Fructose

French chemist Augustin-Pierre Debrunfaut first discovered fruit sugar. It is found in trees, berries, honey, flowers, vine and tree fruits, and most root vegetables. It is often bonded with sucrose to form a disaccharide. Commercially this sugar has been derived from corn, sugar cane, and sugar beets. But if taken in excess, it can cause obesity, insulin resistance just to name a few.

Chemical formula: C6H12O6

Fructose Monosaccharide

Physical and Chemical Properties of Fructose

        • The carbohydrate can be fermented anaerobically with the help of yeast or bacteria in which they are converted into carbon dioxide and ethanol.
        • Fruit sugar is used in Maillard Reaction with amino acids over glucose as the reaction occurs rapidly as they are present in an open-chain form.
        • These compounds dehydrate rapidly to give hydroxymethylfurfural. (‘HMF’).
        • It is a white crystalline solid.
        • These carbohydrates are highly soluble when compared to other sugars.
        • They absorb moisture quickly and release it slowly into the environment with respect to other sugars.

Structure of Fructose

        • Fructose has a cyclic structure.
        • Due to the presence of the keto group, it results in the formation of the intramolecular hemiacetal.
        • In this arrangement, C5-OH combines with the ketonic group present in the second position.
        • This results in the formation of chiral carbon and two arrangements of CH2OH and OH group.
        • Hence, D-fructose exhibits stereoisomerism in which α-D-fructopyranose and β-D-fructopyranose are the isomers.

Fructose- A Monosaccharide

Uses of Fructose

        • Crystalline fructose is used in enhancing the taste in food industries.
        • It is used in flavoured water, energy drinks, low-calorie products, etc.
        • Fruit sugar is used in the manufacturing of soft moist cookies, nutrition bars, reduced-calorie products etc.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is fructose used for?

Fructose is a basic natural sugar found in fruits, honeys, and vegetables. Since the mid-1850s, fructose in its pure form has been used as a sweetener and has advantages for certain groups including people with diabetes and those who try to control their weight.


What is the difference between glucose and fructose?

Glucose and fructose constitute basic sugars. Simple carbohydrates are broken down into two groups. These are both disaccharide and monosaccharide. Monosaccharides consist of one unit of sugar and are the most basic type of sugar. Fructose and glucose are both basic sugars made from monosaccharides. Starch and sugar, whether sucrose or high- (HCFS), contain large quantities of glucose when digested.


What are the properties of fructose?

For general, fructose has a lower melting point compared with other sugars such as glucose, which has a melting point of 146°C. The fructose compound has a 180.16 mol / g molar mass, and a density of 1.69g / cm2. Refined crystallized fructose is pure and powdery.


How many atoms are in fructose?

Fructose, or levulose, is the sugar source present in both fruit and honey. This is a monosaccharide laevorotator with the same empirical formula as glucose but with a different structure. Though fructose is a hexose (6 atoms of carbon), it typically exists as a 5-membered hemiketal ring (a furanose).


What is the molecule fructose?

Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in many plants, where glucose is often bonded to form the sucrose disaccharide. As well as glucose and galactose, it is one of the three dietary monosaccharides that are absorbed directly into the blood during digestion.

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