Sucrose is an organic compound formed by the residues of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. It is found in chlorophyll-bearing plants, sugar cane, beets, and maize.
Let's consider in more detail what it is.
Sucrose is formed by detaching a water molecule from the glycosidic residues of simple saccharides (under the action of enzymes).
The structural formula of the compound is С12Н22О11.
Disaccharide is soluble in ethanol, water, methanol, insoluble in diethyl ether. Heating the compound above the melting point (160 degrees) leads to caramelization of the melt (decomposition and coloration). Interestingly, under intense illumination or cooling (with liquid air), the substance exhibits phosphorescent properties.
Sucrose does not react with solutions of Benedict, Fehling, Tollens and does not exhibit ketone and aldehyde properties. However, when interacting with copper hydroxide, the carbohydrate behaves like a polyhydric alcohol, forming bright blue metal sugars. This reaction is used in the food industry (in sugar factories) to isolate and purify the "sweet" substance from impurities.
When an aqueous solution of sucrose is heated in an acidic environment, in the presence of an invertase enzyme or strong acids, hydrolysis of the compound occurs. As a result, a mixture of glucose and fructose is formed, called inert sugar. The hydrolysis of a disaccharide is accompanied by a change in the sign of the rotation of the solution: from positive to negative (inversion).
The resulting liquid is used to sweeten foods, obtain artificial honey, prevent carbohydrate crystallization, create caramelized molasses, and produce polyhydric alcohols.
The main isomers of an organic compound with a similar molecular formula are maltose and lactose.
The body of mammals, including humans, is not adapted to the absorption of sucrose in its pure form. Therefore, when a substance enters the oral cavity, under the influence of saliva amylase, hydrolysis starts.
The main cycle of sucrose digestion occurs in the small intestine, where, in the presence of the enzyme sucrase, glucose and fructose are released. After that, monosaccharides, with the help of carrier proteins (translocases),activated by insulin, are delivered to the cells of the intestinal tract by facilitated diffusion. Along with this, glucose penetrates into the mucous membrane of the organ through active transport (due to the concentration gradient of sodium ions). Interestingly, the mechanism of its delivery to the small intestine depends on the concentration of the substance in the lumen. With a significant content of the compound in the organ, the first scheme of “transportation” “works”, and with a low content, the second one.
The main monosaccharide that enters the blood from the intestines is glucose. After its absorption, half of the simple carbohydrates are transported through the portal vein to the liver, and the rest enters the bloodstream through the capillaries of the intestinal villi, where it is subsequently extracted by the cells of organs and tissues. After penetration, glucose is broken down into six molecules of carbon dioxide, as a result of which a large number of energy molecules (ATP) are released. The rest of the saccharides are absorbed in the intestine by facilitated diffusion.
Benefits and daily requirement
The metabolism of sucrose is accompanied by the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main "supplier" of energy in the body. It maintains normal blood cells, the vital activity of nerve cells and muscle fibers. In addition, the unclaimed part of the saccharide is used by the body to build glycogen, fat and protein-carbon structures. Interestingly, the systematic breakdown of the stored polysaccharide ensures a stable concentration of glucose in the blood.
Given that sucrose is an “empty” carbohydrate, the daily dose should not exceed a tenth of the consumed kilocalories.
To maintain health, nutritionists recommend limiting sweets to the following safe daily limits:
- for infants 1 to 3 years of age - 10 - 15 grams;
- for children under 6 years old - 15 - 25 grams;
- for adults 30-40 grams per day.
Remember, “normal” means not only pure sucrose, but also “hidden” sugar found in drinks, vegetables, berries, fruits, confectionery products, baked goods. Therefore, for children under one and a half years old, it is better to exclude the product from the diet.
The energy value of 5 grams of sucrose (1 teaspoon) is 20 kilocalories.
Signs of a lack of a compound in the body:
- apathy ;
- migraine ;
- cognitive decline;
- hair loss;
- nervous exhaustion.
Disaccharide requirement increases with:
- intense brain activity (due to the expenditure of energy to maintain the passage of an impulse along the axon-dendrite nerve fiber);
- toxic load on the body (sucrose performs a barrier function, protecting liver cells with paired glucuronic and sulfuric acids).
Remember, it is important to increase the daily intake of sucrose with extreme caution, since an excess of a substance in the body is fraught with functional disorders of the pancreas, pathologies of the cardiovascular organs, and the appearance of caries.
Harm of sucrose
In the process of hydrolysis of sucrose, in addition to glucose and fructose, free radicals are formed that block the action of protective antibodies. Molecular ions "paralyze" the human immune system, as a result of which the body becomes vulnerable to the invasion of foreign "agents". This phenomenon underlies hormonal imbalance and the development of functional disorders.
The negative effect of sucrose on the body:
- causes a violation of mineral metabolism;
- “bombards” the insular apparatus of the pancreas, causing organ pathologies (prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome);
- reduces the functional activity of enzymes;
- displaces copper, chromium and B vitamins from the body, increasing the risk of developing sclerosis, thrombosis, heart attack, pathologies of blood vessels;
- reduces resistance to infections;
- acidifies the body, causing acidosis;
- interferes with the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the digestive tract;
- increases gastric acidity;
- increases the risk of ulcerative colitis;
- potentiates obesity, the development of parasitic invasions, the appearance of hemorrhoids, emphysema;
- increases adrenaline levels (in children);
- provokes exacerbation of stomach ulcers,12 - duodenal ulcers, chronic appendicitis, bronchial asthma attacks;
- increases the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis;
- potentiates the occurrence of caries, periodontal disease;
- causes drowsiness (in children);
- increases systolic pressure;
- causes headache (due to the formation of uric acid salts);
- "pollutes" the body, provoking the occurrence of food allergies;
- disrupts the structure of protein and sometimes genetic structures;
- causes toxicosis in pregnant women;
- changes the collagen molecule, potentiating the appearance of early gray hair;
- worsens the functional state of the skin, hair, nails.
If the concentration of sucrose in the blood is greater than the body needs, the excess glucose is converted into glycogen, which is deposited in the muscles and liver. At the same time, an excess of a substance in the organs potentiates the formation of a "depot" and leads to the transformation of the polysaccharide into fatty compounds.
How to minimize the harm of sucrose?
Given that sucrose potentiates the synthesis of the hormone of joy (serotonin), the intake of sweet foods leads to the normalization of a person's psycho-emotional balance.
At the same time, it is important to know how to neutralize the harmful properties of the polysaccharide.
- Replace white sugar with natural sweets (dried fruits, honey), maple syrup, natural stevia.
- Eliminate high-glucose foods (cakes, sweets, pastries, cookies, juices, store-bought drinks, white chocolate) from the daily menu.
- Make sure that the purchased products do not contain white sugar, starch syrup.
- Consume antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and prevent complex sugars from damaging collagen. Natural antioxidants include: cranberries, blackberries, sauerkraut, citrus fruits, greens. Among the inhibitors of the vitamin series, there are: beta-carotene, tocopherol, calcium, ascorbic acid, bioflavonoids.
- Eat two almonds after a sweet meal (to reduce the rate of absorption of sucrose into the blood).
- Drink one and a half liters of pure water daily.
- Rinse your mouth after every meal.
- Go in for sports. Physical activity stimulates the release of the natural hormone of joy, as a result of which mood rises and cravings for sweet foods are reduced.
To minimize the harmful effects of white sugar on the human body, it is recommended to give preference to sweeteners.
These substances, depending on the origin, are divided into two groups:
- natural (stevia, xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol);
- artificial (aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, cyclamate).
When choosing sweeteners, it is better to give preference to the first group of substances, since the benefits of the second are not fully understood. At the same time, it is important to remember that the abuse of sugar alcohols (xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol) is fraught with diarrhea.
Natural sources of “pure” sucrose are sugar cane stalks, sugar beet roots, coconut palm, Canadian maple, birch sap.
germs of seeds of some cereals (maize, sugar sorghum, wheat). Consider which products contain the "sweet" polysaccharide.
|Product name||Sucrose content per 100 grams of food raw materials, grams|
|White sugar (beet)||99, 9|
|Brown sugar (cane, maple)||85|
|Gingerbread, marmalade||71 - 76|
|Dates, apple marshmallow||70|
|Prunes, raisins (raisins)||66|
|Grapes (muscat, sultanas)||61|
|Medlar(17 0) 60.5|
|Corn (sweet, frozen, white)||8.5|
|Tangerines, clementines, pineapples (sweet varieties)||6|
|Apricots, nuts cashews (raw)||5.8|
|Green peas (fresh)||5|
|Nectarines, peaches, plums||4.7|
|Bananas, Turmeric (spice)||2.3|
|Apples, pears (sweet varieties)||2|
|Walnuts, onion (fresh)||1|
|Gooseberries, pumpkin, potatoes, cherries||0.6|
In addition, sucrose in small amounts (less than 0.4 grams per 100 grams of product) is found in all chlorophyll-bearing plants (greens, berries, fruits, vegetables).
To extract this carbohydrate on an industrial scale, physical and mechanical methods of influence are used.
Consider how beet sucrose (white sugar) is made
- Peeled sugar beets are crushed in mechanical beet cutters.
- Chopped raw materials are placed in devices - diffusers, and then hot water is passed through them. As a result, 90 - 95% of sucrose is washed out of the beets.
- The resulting solution is treated with milk of lime (to precipitate impurities). During the reaction of calcium hydroxide with organic acids contained in the solution, sparingly soluble calcium salts are formed, and when interacting with sucrose, soluble calcium saccharate is formed.
- To precipitate calcium hydroxide, carbon dioxide is passed through the "sweet" solution.
- After that, it is filtered and then evaporated in vacuum devices. The isolated sugar - raw has a yellow tint, because it contains coloring substances.
- To remove impurities, sucrose is redissolved in water, and then the solution is passed through activated charcoal.
- The "pure" mixture is re-evaporated in vacuum apparatus. The result is refined (white) sugar.
- The resulting product is subjected to crystallization by centrifugation or splitting compact "sugar heads" into small pieces.
The brown solution (molasses) that remains after the extraction of sucrose is used to produce citric acid.
- Food industry. Disaccharide is used as an independent food product (sugar), a preservative (in high concentrations), an integral component of culinary products, alcoholic beverages, and sauces. In addition, artificial honey is obtained from sucrose.
- Biochemistry. The polysaccharide is used as a substrate in the production (fermentation) of glycerol, ethanol, butanol, dextran, levulinic and citric acids.
- Pharmacology. Sucrose (from sugar cane) is used in the manufacture of powders, mixtures, syrups, including for newborns (to give a sweet taste or preservation).
In addition, sucrose in combination with fatty acids is used as non-ionic detergents (substances that improve solubility in aqueous media) in agriculture, cosmetology, and in the creation of detergents.
Sucrose is a “sweet” carbohydrate formed in the fruits, stems and seeds of plants during photosynthesis.
Upon entering the human body, the disaccharide breaks down into glucose and fructose, releasing a large amount of energy resource.
The leaders in sucrose content are sugar cane, Canadian maple sap, sugar beets.
In moderation (20-40 grams per day), the substance is useful for the human body, as it activates the brain, supplies cells with energy, and protects the liver from toxins. However, the abuse of sucrose, especially in childhood, leads to the appearance of functional disorders, hormonal failure, obesity, caries, periodontal disease, pre-diabetic condition, parasitic invasions. Therefore, before taking the product, including the introduction of sweets into infant formula, it is advisable to assess what its benefits and harms are.
To minimize damage to health, white sugar is replaced with stevia, unrefined raw sugar, honey, fructose (fruit sugar), dried fruits.