Fructose or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide found in many plants. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion. Fructose was discovered by French chemist Augustin-Pierre Dubrunfaut in 1847. Pure, dry fructose is a very sweet, white, odorless, crystalline solid and is the most water-soluble of all the sugars. From plant sources, fructose is found in honey, tree and vine fruits, flowers, berries, and most root vegetables. In plants, fructose may be present as the monosaccharide and/or as a molecular component of sucrose, which is a disaccharide.
Commercially, fructose frequently is derived from sugar cane, sugar beets, and corn and there are three commercially important forms. Crystalline fructose is the monosaccharide, dried, ground, and of high purity. The second form, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a mixture of glucose and fructose as monosaccharides. The third form, sucrose, is a compound with one molecule of glucose covalently linked to one molecule of fructose. All forms of fructose, including fruits and juices, are commonly added to foods and drinks for palatability and taste enhancement, and for browning of some foods, such as baked goods.
About 240,000 tons of crystalline fructose are produced annually.