Any of numerous sweet, colourless organic compounds that dissolve readily in water and occur in the sap of seed plants and the milk of mammals. Sugars (whose names end in -ose) are the simplest carbohydrates. The most common is sucrose, a disaccharide; there are numerous others, including glucose and fructose (both monosaccharides); invert sugar (a 50:50 mixture of glucose and fructose produced by enzyme action on sucrose); and maltose (produced in the malting of barley) and lactose (both disaccharides). Commercial production of sugars is almost entirely for food.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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