Difference Between Sugar and Glucose

Sugar vs Glucose

Both sugar and glucose come under nutrient category called simple carbohydrates. The other main type of the carbohydrate is complex carbohydrates, which includes starches and fiber. Simple carbohydrates have a sweet taste and are soluble in water; thus they are widely used in many food products. Like the other carbohydrates, these simple carbohydrates consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio of 1:2:1 (CH2O).


Sugar is the generalized name for water soluble, sweet taste, short-chain simple carbohydrates. Because of these features, sugars are used in many industries as a raw material of many products. Simple sugars are naturally present in many foods such as fruits, milk, and sugar cane.

Sugars can be divided into two categories, depending on their basic structure; namely, (a) monosaccharides and (b) disaccharides. As the name implies, monosaccharides consist of a single sugar molecule. The commonly found monosaccharides are glucose, fructose, and galactose. All these three monosaccharides have a basic chemical formula C6H12O6, but with different atomic arrangements, thus resulting in different properties.

The disaccharides are composed of two monosaccharide molecules linked by condensation. The most commonly found disaccharides are sucrose (table sugar), lactose (the main sugar in milk), and maltose (product of starch digestion). All these three sugars have the similar chemical formula C12H24O12, but with different structures.


Glucose is a monosaccharide that comes under the simple sugars. It is considered as the most abundant simple carbohydrate in nature. It has mildly sweet taste to food and has the chemical formula of C6H12O6. Glucose is rarely found as a monosaccharide, but is usually linked with other sugars to form disaccharides, and complex carbohydrates such as starch. All the disaccharides have at least one glucose molecule.

Glucose serves many roles in both foods and the body. For example, glucose acts as energy source that supplies energy to cells, and thus the levels of blood glucose is well controlled in order to ensure the constant supply of energy thorough out the body.

What is the difference between Sugar and Glucose?

• Glucose comes under the category of simple sugars.

• Sugars include monosaccharides and disaccharides. Glucose is a monosaccharide.

• Some sugars like disaccharides consist of one glucose molecule plus any other monosaccharide.

• Glucose is the most abundant naturally occurring simple sugar among the other sugars.