Apple Sugars

Types and average percentage of sugars found in an apple.
Types and average percentage of sugars found in an apple.

While actual sugar levels vary by apple variety, weather, and orchard practices, the types of sugars as a percentage of total sugars are reasonably consistent. The majority is fructose followed by sucrose and glucose. The final amount is made up of other sweeteners like sorbitol.

Fructose: This is the sweetest naturally occurring carbohydrate. It can be over 50% sweeter than glucose. Like glucose, it is a monosaccharide, which means it it made up of one compound of sugar.

Glucose: Made by the apple tree from water and CO2 using sunlight as energy, glucose is also a monosaccharide. Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts tends to prefer processing glucose over fructose.

Sucrose: Also known as table sugar, sucrose is a disaccharide compound, which means it has one molecule of glucose linked to one molecule of fructose. During fermentation, the sucrose is usually broken down into glucose and fructose for the yeast to process. Unlike fructose, glucose, and maltose (think beer), sucrose is not a reducing sugar.

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