Introduction to the world of sugars

First, let’s start by saying that sugar is not just one, but a family.

Technically, sugars are part of another large family which are the “sweeteners” whose definition is:
“Any natural or artificial substance that sweetens or sweetens”.

That being said, in this introduction, we will only talk about those that have a natural origin and, due to their molecular structure, belong to the monosaccharides or polysaccharides. Depending on the type of sugar we want to use, our chefs Elena Adell and Hans Ovando recommend that, without overlooking its technical characteristics, we should focus on the flavour that it provides the recipe with and, to them, despite the technical characteristics, flavour always goes first.

SP: The sweetening power is a vital factor when making or creating a recipe, not all sugars have the same sweetening power.

AP: Anti-freezing power, it is essential to pay attention to this when preparing recipes. If we use sugar with a high AP or too much of it, it may cause our elaboration to not be able to freeze.

PACR: Our sugar of reference is sucrose (common sugar), it has a characteristic called crystallisation. This type of sugar can be dissolved in liquid but, after some time it tends to recrystallize.

Molecules in sugar


Widely known as “simple sugars”, sweetness and water-soluble.

The most importants ones are:

  • Glucose/Dextrose:

Although there may be confusion, the glucose and dextrose molecule is the same.

Mostly found in fruits and honey.

It is one of the components of sucrose.

It has a lower sweetening power than sucrose.

It acts as an anti-crystallising agent and also reduces water activity.

  • Fructose:

It is mainly found in fruits, some plants and honey.

It is normally obtained from the separation of the sucrose molecule or found in starch, although it can be found as a free molecule in honey.

It has a higher sweetening power than sucrose, 170.

Its most notable characteristics are its anti-crystallising power and its ability to reduce water activity.

It is normally used for the production of dietetic products.

  • Galactose:                       

When combined with glucose, it creates lactose. It is the only sugar that is animal-based and its sweetening power is low.

If you want to learn more about sugar you must check our Confectionery Course.

In this Confectionery course by chef Elena Adell, you will find a great variety of recipes where you can see how all of this theory is applied, with a complete guide on sugars in pastry.

You will also learn how to use different measuring tools such as the sugar thermometer, syrup weighter and a refractometer.

In this Confectionery Course you will find recipes that require sugar cooking, candying, jams, marshmallow, amongst others.


If you want to know more about this confectionery course, go to the following link.