The key difference between dextrose and sucrose is that the dextrose is a monosaccharide whereas the sucrose is a disaccharide.
We can divide carbohydrates into different groups such as monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides according to their chemical nature. Monosaccharides are simple sugars containing one type of sugar molecules. Glucose is a good example. Glucose occurs in two isomeric forms as the L-glucose and D-glucose. Dextrose is the common name for D-glucose. Disaccharides are simple sugars containing two types of sugar molecules. Sucrose is a common example of that. The two types of sugar molecules that it contains are glucose and fructose.
What is Dextrose?
Dextrose is D-glucose, and it is a monosaccharide. The name derives from its chemical nature; dextrose refers to dextrorotatory. It means that it rotates plane polarized light to the right. The letter D in D-glucose also refers to the same definition. Tthe chemical formula this compound is C6H12O6. The molar mass of this compound is 180 g/mol. Moreover, the most common source of this sugar is corn.
When considering the uses of this compound, the most common application is as a sweetener in baking products. Moreover, we can find it often in corn syrup and processed food. This compound is an ingredient in packaged food mainly because of its affordability and wide availability.
There are some non-food uses of dextrose as well. It has a high glycemic index; this means it can increase the blood sugar level immediately. Therefore, we can use it as a treatment for low blood levels and dehydration. Moreover, people having diabetics often keep a dextrose tablet to consume quickly if their blood level gets dangerously low.
However, since we use it in processed food, we consider dextrose as an added sugar. There are certain limits which we should consume this compound per day. Nevertheless, most of the people consume more than the recommended levels. But, high consumption may lead to weight gain, cavities, lowered immunity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.
What is Sucrose?
Sucrose is a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose sugar molecules. It is what we commonly call as table sugar. Plants can produce this compound naturally. Therefore, we can refine this compound from plants. The chemical formula of this compound is C12H22O11. The molar mass is 342.3 g/mol. However, it has a relatively low glycemic index; thus, it cannot increase the blood sugar level immediately. Therefore, it has a minimal effect on blood glucose.
We can extract and refine sucrose from sugar cane or sugar beet for human consumption. We can do this in sugar mills. In this mill, the sugar cane is crushed to get raw sugar. This raw sugar is then refined to get pure sucrose. There, we wash the raw sugar crystals, dissolve them into a sugar syrup, filter and pass over carbon to remove any residual color. This sucrose is often used in food production and in many food recipes as well.
What is the Difference Between Dextrose and Sucrose?
Dextrose is D-glucose, and it is a monosaccharide. The source of this compound is corn. It has the chemical formula C6H12O6 and molar mass 180 g/mol. Since it has a high glycemic index, it has a considerable effect on blood glucose level because it can immediately increase the blood sugar level. Sucrose, on the other hand, is a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose sugar molecules. The sources of this compound are sugar cane and sugar beet. It has the chemical formula C12H22O11 and molar mass 342.3 g/mol. In addition to that, it has a comparatively low glycemic index. Therefore, it does not increase the blood sugar level immediately.
The below infographic presents a detailed comparison of the difference between dextrose and sucrose.
Summary – Dextrose vs Sucrose
Dextrose is D-glucose. Sucrose is common table sugar. Dextrose and sucrose are two different sugar molecules. The difference between dextrose and sucrose is that the dextrose is a monosaccharide whereas the sucrose is a disaccharide.
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3. Vance, Sara. “What Is Dextrose and Why Its in Your Food.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 3 Oct. 2017. Available here