|Also known as white or table sugar, sucrose is a sweet crystalline dextrorotatory non-reducing disaccharide that occurs naturally in most land plants and is the simple carbohydrate obtained from sugarcane, sugar beet and other sources. Sucrose is broken down
in the gut by acidic hydrolysis into its component sugars, fructose and glucose, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestine. Sucrose is the first storage molecule produced in all green plants. It is also the main carrier of energy from one part of the plant to another, in all plant life.
Sucrose is the most common sweetener in the modern, industrialized world, although it has been displaced in industrial food production by some other sweeteners such as glucose syrups or combinations of functional ingredients and high intensity sweeteners. Its ubiquity is due to the combination of sweetness and functional properties. It is important to the structure of many foods including biscuits (cookies), ice cream and sorbets, and also gives preserving qualities to foods. As such it is common in many processed and "junk" foods. Sucrose is an excellent preservative because it has no "reducing end" or reactive group like the other sugars. Sucrose is an excellent natural preservative and is found in many jarred foods including jams.
Sucrose occurs naturally in many green plants as a product of photosynthesis. Sucrose is present in limited quantities in many plants, including various palms and the sugar maple, but the sugar beet and the sugar cane are the only commercially important sources. Other natural sources of sucrose are found in many fruits, seeds, roots, and honey.