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Sucrose vs. Lactose: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 5, 2024
Sucrose is a disaccharide sugar composed of glucose and fructose, commonly known as table sugar, while lactose is a disaccharide found in milk, made of glucose and galactose.

Key Differences

Sucrose is a natural carbohydrate found in many plants, particularly in sugarcane and sugar beets, used extensively as a sweetener. Lactose is a carbohydrate found primarily in milk and dairy products, and is less sweet than sucrose.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
Sucrose is digested by the enzyme sucrase, breaking down into glucose and fructose which are then absorbed by the body. Lactose requires the enzyme lactase for digestion, splitting into glucose and galactose.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
Sucrose is used in cooking and baking due to its ability to caramelize and add texture to food. Lactose, while also used in food products, is known for causing lactose intolerance in some individuals.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
Sucrose serves as a preservative and texture enhancer in various food products. Lactose is less commonly used as a sweetener but plays a vital role in dairy product processing and flavor.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024
Sucrose can contribute to dental cavities and is a high-calorie sweetener. Lactose, when not properly digested due to lactase deficiency, can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Composition

Glucose + Fructose
Glucose + Galactose
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Source

Sugarcane, Sugar Beets
Milk, Dairy Products
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Sweetness

High
Lower than Sucrose
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Digestive Enzyme

Sucrase
Lactase
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Common Use

Sweetener, Food Preservative
Dairy Product Processing
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024
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Sucrose and Lactose Definitions

Sucrose

Sucrose is used as a sweetening agent in food and beverages.
Sucrose is added to coffee to balance its bitterness.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

Lactose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and galactose.
Lactose is broken down by lactase in the human digestive system.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

Sucrose is a disaccharide sugar made of glucose and fructose.
Sucrose is often used in baking cakes for sweetness.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

Lactose contributes to the nutritional value of dairy products.
Lactose in milk provides energy to young mammals.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

Sucrose is a carbohydrate that provides energy upon digestion.
Sucrose in fruit juices contributes to their caloric content.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products.
Lactose gives milk its slightly sweet taste.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

Sucrose is a common table sugar extracted from sugarcane or sugar beets.
Sucrose is dissolved in tea to enhance its taste.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

Lactose is used in the food industry, particularly in dairy.
Lactose is present in all dairy products like cheese and yogurt.
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

Sucrose is a natural sugar that can caramelize under heat.
Sucrose caramelizes to give a golden color to desserts.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

Lactose can cause intolerance in individuals lacking lactase.
People with lactose intolerance often avoid milk.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

A crystalline disaccharide of fructose and glucose, C12H22O11, extracted chiefly from sugarcane and sugar beets and commonly known as table sugar. Also called saccharose.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

A white crystalline disaccharide, C12H22O11, found in milk, that may be hydrolyzed to yield glucose and galactose. Refined lactose obtained from whey is used in infant foods, bakery products, confections, and pharmaceuticals as a diluent and excipient. Also called milk sugar.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

(carbohydrate) A disaccharide with formula C12H22O11, consisting of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose; normal culinary sugar.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

(carbohydrate) The disaccharide sugar of milk and dairy products, C12H22O11, a product of glucose and galactose used as a food and in medicinal compounds.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

A common variety of sugar found in the juices of many plants, as the sugar cane, sorghum, sugar maple, beet root, etc. It is extracted as a sweet, white crystalline substance which is valuable as a food product, and, being antiputrescent, is largely used in the preservation of fruit. Called also saccharose, cane sugar, etc. At one time the term was used by extension, for any one of the class of isomeric substances (as lactose, maltose, etc.) of which sucrose proper is the type; however this usage is now archaic.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

The main sugar present in milk, called also sugar of milk or milk sugar. When isolated pure it is obtained crystalline; it is separable from the whey by evaporation and crystallization. It is a disaccharide with the formula C12H22O11, being chemically 4-(
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Sucrose

A complex carbohydrate found in many plants and used as a sweetening agent
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

See Galactose.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Lactose

A sugar comprising one glucose molecule linked to a galactose molecule; occurs only in milk;
Cow's milk contains about 4.7% lactose
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

FAQs

What is sucrose?

Sucrose is a disaccharide sugar composed of glucose and fructose.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

What is lactose?

Lactose is a disaccharide sugar found in milk, composed of glucose and galactose.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Where is sucrose commonly found?

Sucrose is found in sugarcane, sugar beets, and as a sweetener in many foods.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

What are common sources of lactose?

Lactose is commonly found in milk and dairy products.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

How is sucrose digested?

Sucrose is digested by the enzyme sucrase into glucose and fructose.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

How is lactose digested?

Lactose is digested by the enzyme lactase into glucose and galactose.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Can sucrose cause health issues?

Excessive sucrose intake can lead to dental cavities, weight gain, and other health issues.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

What role does sucrose play in baking?

Sucrose adds sweetness and affects the texture and color of baked goods.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Is sucrose sweeter than lactose?

Yes, sucrose is generally sweeter than lactose.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Do all plants contain sucrose?

Not all plants contain sucrose; it's mainly in sugarcane and sugar beets.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

Can infants digest lactose?

Most infants can digest lactose as they naturally produce lactase.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

How does lactose affect people with lactose intolerance?

It can cause digestive discomfort like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Is sucrose a natural sugar?

Yes, sucrose is a natural sugar found in plants.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose due to a deficiency of lactase.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Is lactose used as a sweetener?

Lactose is less commonly used as a sweetener compared to sucrose.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

Can lactose be found in non-dairy products?

Lactose is primarily in dairy products, though some processed foods may contain it.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

What are alternative sweeteners to sucrose?

Alternatives include stevia, honey, agave nectar, and artificial sweeteners.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

How is sucrose refined?

Sucrose is refined through a process of extraction and purification from sugarcane or sugar beets.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Is lactose important for bone health?

The calcium in lactose-containing dairy products is important for bone health.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Are there lactose-free alternatives for dairy products?

Yes, there are lactose-free milk and dairy alternatives available.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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