Is dextrose a refined sugar

Sugar has many names

Sugar is not always listed as such in the list of ingredients, but can hide behind many terms. In addition to ingredients that contain “sugar” in their names, food manufacturers also use other types of sugar or sweetening ingredients, some of which are difficult to recognize as sugar due to their complicated-sounding chemical names.

Sugars and high-sugar ingredients include:

  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
  • Raffinose
  • Glucose
  • Fructose syrup or fructose-glucose syrup
  • Glucose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup or corn syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • lactose
  • Maltose or malt extract / barley malt extract

The carbohydrate maltodextrin also contains sugar - up to 20 percent, depending on the type of maltodextrin. It tastes little or no sweet and is sometimes used in low-sugar products.

In addition, sugar can also get into food via a sweetening ingredient, for example in the form of honey, grape fruit sweetness, date powder and syrup such as agave syrup. Fruit concentrates, purees or dried fruits such as raisins also contain a lot of sugar.

Manufacturers are not obliged to indicate the amount of each type of sugar used. However, an orientation can be the placement of the above-mentioned terms in the list of ingredients. If they are far ahead, this indicates a high sugar content in the food. If different types of sugar are in different places in the list of ingredients, it is often not possible to estimate the sugar content.

Sugar in the nutritional table

The nutritional table, which can be found on almost all packaged foods, provides information about the total sugar content of the food.

However, the different definitions of the term “sugar” in the nutritional labeling and in the list of ingredients can be confusing. Because in the nutritional table all the mono- and disaccharides contained in the product are referred to as "sugars" and are calculated together. This also includes naturally contained sugars, for example from fruit or milk.

In the list of ingredients, however, all types of sugar are listed individually. If there is "sugar", then the beet or cane sugar (sucrose) is meant.