What is the Difference Between Sucrose and Sucralose

The key difference between sucrose and sucralose is that sucrose molecule contains three hydroxyl groups, whereas sucralose molecule contains three chlorine atoms.

The difference in the chemical structure between sucrose and sucralose gives them different chemical and physical properties. However, both these compounds are useful as sweeteners. Sucralose is a synthetic substance that is sweeter than sucrose. Unlike sucrose, this substance has zero contribution to the calories in our diet.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Sucrose  
3. What is Sucralose
4. Sucrose vs Sucralose in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Sucrose and Sucralose

What is Sucrose?

Sucrose is a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose sugar molecules. It is what we commonly call table sugar. Plants can produce this compound naturally. Therefore, we can refine this compound from plants. The chemical formula of this compound is C12H22O11. Its molar mass is 342.3 g/mol. However, it has a relatively low glycemic index, so it cannot increase blood sugar levels immediately. Therefore, it has a minimal effect on blood glucose.

Figure 01: The Chemical Structure of Sucrose Molecule

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. In this process, we wash the raw sugar crystals, dissolve them into a sugar syrup, filter and pass over carbon to remove any residual colour. This sucrose is often used in food production and in many food recipes as well.

What is Sucralose?

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener compound that is useful as a sugar substitute. Generally, most of the ingested sucralose is not broken down inside our bodies. Therefore, we can name it a noncaloric substance. The E number for this food additive is E 955. Moreover, this sugar substitute is considered shelf-stable and a safe substance to be used at elevated temperatures.

Figure 02: The Chemical Structure of Sucralose Molecule

The chemical formula of sucralose is C12H19Cl3O8. The molar mass of this substance is 397.64 g/mol. It appears as an off-white to white powder; it is odourless as well. Sucralose can be described as a disaccharide compound that is synthesized through the selective chlorination of sucrose in a multistep route, where three specific hydroxyl groups are substituted with chlorine atoms. Finally, the deprotection by hydrolysis of the ester is done to get the sucralose.

What is the Difference Between Sucrose and Sucralose?

Sucrose is a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose sugar molecules. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener compound that is useful as a sugar substitute. The key difference between sucrose and sucralose is that the sucrose molecule contains three hydroxyl groups, whereas the sucralose molecule contains three chlorine atoms, which replace the three hydroxyl groups in the sucrose molecule. Moreover, sucrose is less sweeter than sucralose; in fact, sucralose is about 400-800 times sweeter than sucrose. In addition, sucrose has 16 calories per teaspoon whereas sucralose has zero contribution to calories.

The following infographic presents the differences between sucrose and sucralose in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Sucrose vs Sucralose

Sucrose is a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose sugar molecules. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener compound that is useful as a sugar substitute. The key difference between sucrose and sucralose is that the sucrose molecule contains three hydroxyl groups, whereas the sucralose molecule contains three chlorine atoms, which replace the three hydroxyl groups in the sucrose molecule. Furthermore, sucralose is a synthetic substance that is very sweeter than sucrose, and unlike sucrose, this substance has zero contribution to the calories in our diet.