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Structure of sugar

Structure of sugar

The structure of sugar

Sugar is formed by photosynthesis in a number of sucrose-producing plants, including sugar beet and sugar cane, as well as the sap of sugar maples, dates, pineapple, and many other plants. Physical proterties of sucrose.

Sugar = C12H22011

Physicists will tell you that sugar, or sucrose, is an organic molecule composed of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen(O). Its chemical formula is C12H22011, with a molar mass of 342.30 g/mol.

To be more precise, sucrose consists of two molecules, one of fructose and the other of glucose. Experts have given it the official, internationally recognised - and virtually unpronounceable - name of D-glucopyranosyl-D-fructofuranose.

A crystal in your coffee

In its solid state - crystallised, in other words - sugar or sucrose is a colourless, odourless, sweet-tasting substance. It crystallises in the form of anhydrous prisms (i.e. they contain no water) on oblique axes, in what crystallographers call a monoclinic crystalline system. In theory, a perfect sugar crystal is a prism with 15 facets.


in what crystallographers call a monoclinic crystalline system. In theory,  a perfect sugar crystal is a prism with 15 facets. If you look with the naked eye at a large candy sugar crystal or through a magnifying glass at a granulated sugar crystal, you should quite easily be able to make out seven or eight facets.

Pure sugar!

It’s time to put some popular and mistaken ideas to rest! The colour of sugar does not depend on the plant from which it came Brown sugar, for example, is no more natural than white sugar.


Both sugar beet and sugar cane produce white and brown sugar.  The whiteness of sugar is due to the quality of the product, rather than the plant. The whiter the sugar, the more pure it is.   The darker the sugar, the more colouring substances (caramels) and traces of mineral salts and vitamins it contains – which is why it is thought to be more natural – but these elements are present in such small amounts that they would have virtually no effect on the human body. But these elements are present in such small amounts that they would have virtually no effect on the human body.

Melting and dissolving

A dry sugar crystal will start to melt when heated to a temperature of 160-170°C. Its exact melting point is 186°C. To obtain caramelised sugar the heat must be over 190-200° C.  Its exact melting point is 186°C. 


Sugar dissolves very easily in water. At room temperature, 200g of sugar will dissolve in 100g of water to achieve a concentration of 66%.  The higher the temperature of the water, the larger the quantity of sugar that will dissolve in it.